Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough claimed a fine 29-15 bonus-point win at Doncaster-based Wheatley HIlls to continue their promising start to the Yorkshire One season.
The South Yorkshiremen were relegated from North One at the end of last season and looked in trouble from the off when a break by Scarborough fullback Jim Perrett opened up the home defence releasing Drew Govier. The young flanker drew his man and sent winger Jonty Holloway over in the corner with only 5 minutes played for 5-0. Fly-half Tom Harrison failed to convert.
Simple stuff; keep whipping the ball wide and the tries will come? Not a bit of it; it soon became obvious that what appeared to be a pack of forwards stacked with somewhat hefty players was in fact an experienced and cohesive unit which would make possession a rare commodity for the Seasiders.
Having said that, it was also obvious that Wheatley had a very limited repertoire behind the pack; the main tactic being to get it back to the Howitzer boot of fullback Josh Taylor who would either kick for territory or goal. And the rangy number fifteen did just that after quarter of an hour landing a monster penalty from the halfway line to reduce the arrears at 5-3.
The Seasiders did glean some rare possession early in the second quarter when Perrett broke down the outside centre channel on the left, stepped on the gas and combined with centre Tom Ratcliffe to release Holloway. The young wing brushed aside a would-be tackler and romped over to ground near the uprights. Harrison added the extras for a 12-3 Scarborough lead in the 23rd minute.
The south Yorkshiremen continued to dominate in the forward exchanges and much of the action was in the middle third of the paddock. However some rare possession for the visitors saw Harrison find Perrett just outside the Wheatley Hills 22 and the flying Aussie waltzed round several would-be tacklers to touch down. Harrison converted for a 19-3 lead in the 37th minute.
However the half ended well for the home side as Scarborough prop and skipper Matty Jones was sin-binned on the stroke of half-time for a scrummage offence. The Wheatley pack butchered what should have been a push-over try when they knocked-on and Scarborough had the put-in at a 5 metre scrum. They in turn were pushed off their own ball and No8 Josh Foy got the touch. Taylor added the extras and Scarborough’s lead was cut to 19-10 at the break.
The pattern set in the first half with the home pack dominating possession continued in the second half and although the visiting players stuck to their tasks the ball retention of the big forwards was exceptional.
However when they did win possession the visitors made good use of it and when they were awarded a penalty in the 52nd minute for offside at a ruck 30 metres out Harrison made his kick count, stretching the lead to 22-10.
Things were by no means settled and the south Yorkshiremen piled on the pressure in the fourth quarter before recording their second try from close range to cut the Scarborough lead to seven points in the 62nd minute. Fullback Taylor, who had been deadly accurate with his boot for most of the afternoon, missed the straight forward conversion
At 22-15 the Seasiders had to withstand a Wheatley Hills siege on their own line in the final quarter. But composure in defence and some crunching tackles saw them eventually win possession, lift the siege and get out of their own half.
‘Hills’ infringed just outside their own 22 giving Harrison a chance in the 75th minute to kick his side to what would have been a 10 point winning margin; however he just pulled his effort wide and the difference between the teams remained at seven points.
However some judicious line-kicking by the Scarborough number ten took his side into the home 22 in the final stages of the game and having camped on the line in the final minutes, skipper Matty Jones powered over from short range in the 80th minute. Harrison converted for a hard earned 29-15 win.
Simon Smith’s charges did exceptionally well to win a game in which they managed to glean only about 30% of the possession. I don’t think the Scarborough pack had huge failings they just came up against a gnarled, well drilled, superior pack of forwards. However, playing to their strengths and with a committed team effort they managed to fashion four terrific tries and on another day with at least half of the available possession they surely would have had considerably more.
Tries: holloway 2, perrett, jones
Conversions: harrison 3
Tries: foy, ??
Scarborough: perrett young ratcliffe parker holloway harrison stewart cutino dawson jones oxtoby watson sutton govier martin Substitutes: whitton wilson wakeham
Wheatley Hills: taylor mears butler blessed bray gilvray barker hamilton kerry stephenson undy clayton bullement t.kerry foy Substitutes: norton stables brookfield
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": james perrett
On a day when possession was at a premium, the Seasiders had to capitalise when they got their hands on the ball. Fullback Jim Perrett certainly did that, producing searing pace which set up two tries before running in a spectacular touchdown himself.