W 36 - 29
Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
A contrast of styles saw a forward-orientated Pocklington side take on Scarborough who travelled to Percy Road looking to play the brand of dynamic running rugby which had produced eighteen tries and three wins in their previous three games.
Pocklington’s kick-off went directly into touch and Scarborough having won the resulting scrum moved the ball into home territory. They get onto the front foot in the early exchanges with some powerful phase play before moving the ball wide then back inside for hooker Sam Dawson to hit a perfect line and power over in the 7th minute; fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for a 7-0 lead.
Following success in the early set scrums Scarborough struggled and a strike against the head for Pocklington saw the ball moved up field with some powerful carrying and No8 Andy Little powered over between the uprights from close range to level the scores at 7-7 with the help of fullback Christian Pollock’s conversion.
The action continued apace and the visitors regained the lead when an inch-perfect grubber kick from Ratcliffe found Jimmy Perrett, up in support, and the Aussie fullback collected and glided over with practiced ease in the in the 17th minute. Ratcliffe converted for 14-7.
The game ebbed and flowed and next up it was Pocklington who kicked a penalty conceded by Scarborough at scrum time into the corner. From the resulting lineout and drive hooker Jim Thornton was driven over and Pollock levelled the scores at 14-14 with his 19th minute conversion.
The men from Percy Road were having things all their own way at scrum time and Scarborough struggled to get their hands on the ball; however the home side’s third touchdown came from a ruck and this time they drove to the line and Little bagged his second try of the contest on the half hour for a 19-14 lead; Pollock failed to convert.
Scarborough’s mobile pack were to-a-man making their presence felt in the loose with perhaps Tom Hicks in unfamiliar territory in the back row taking the plaudits with a powerful, abrasive performance.
Tom Ratcliffe was having a cracker of a game and once again caused havoc with the most delicate of chips through to find winger Jonty Holloway wide on the left. The flying wingman was brought down just short of the line but popped the ball up to centre Aaron Wilson who powered over from close range wide on the left. Ratcliffe missed the 38th minute conversion and the scores were level 19-19 at the break.
The second half got off to a flying start with Pocklington touching down in the 44th and 46th minutes with two close-range efforts following driving forward play. Fullback Pollock failed to convert either but Pock led 29-19.
As the game went into its final quarter the Seasiders at least gained parity at the set scrums which gave scrum-half Jordi Wakeham and Ratcliffe a chance to run the game.
And the visitors saw a chink of light at the end of tunnel in the 63rd minute when they won a lineout on the Pocklington ten metre line and moved the ball infield through Wakeham and Ratcliffe to Wilson who scythed through a series of anaemic tackles to score a spectacular try between the uprights. Ratcliffe converted to reduce the arrears at 26-29 and it was game on!
Things got a little heated with the home side under pressure in the own 22 in the 65th minute and Scarborough’s Cade Robinson and Pocklington’s Ed Davidson were sent to the bin for a bit of what the great Bill McClaren would have described as ‘argy bargy’.
Scarborough pressure saw Pock centre Josh Britton fumble on halfway; Ratcliffe stole possession and slipped the ball to Perrett who left two defenders for dead and galloped away to score near the posts with ten minutes to go. Ratcliffe converted and added a penalty in front of the sticks four minutes later for a 36-29 lead.
The Seasiders had Wilson sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on in the first minute of injury time and then had to spend time defending on their own line before referee James Nimmo blew time bringing proceeding to an end.
In the backs Jimmy Perrett and stand-in centre Aaron Wilson were constant thorns in the collective Pocklington side, halfbacks Wakeham and particularly Ratcliffe were buzzing throughout with perhaps Tom Hicks pick of the forwards. Considering that for longish periods of the game they were starved of possession, Scarborough kept their composure, played to their strengths and came away with five very creditable points to ensure a fourth consecutive win and remain second on goal difference behind York in North One East.
Tries: dawson, perrett x 2, wilson x 2
Conversions: ratcliffe x 4
Scarborough: perrett marshall young wilson jonty holloway radcliffe wakeham core dawson jones robinson brown hicks ben martin Substitutes: jordan holloway nino cutino manning smith( (all used)
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": tom ratcliffe
Tom has had a terrific season and was just immense in this game. He had a hand (or boot) in everything good that Scarborough produced in this fine win.