Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
Three consecutive bonus-points wins elevated Scarborough to joint top of Yorkshire One with York going into this game at Clifton Park. However, they were brought back down to earth with an almighty bang conceding eight tries in a shattering 7-56 defeat at Clifton Park.
The early exchanges saw honours even as both sides struggled to keep possession of a slippery ball in the drizzly conditions. However York took an early lead when fullback Jon Dawes assuredly stroked over a penalty in the 10th minute for a 3-0 lead.
The York pack had the upper hand in the forward exchanges and for the fourth consecutive game the Seasiders found themselves struggling for possession from set pieces. However they stuck to their task and won a penalty 30 metres out in the 20th minute. A quick tap saw a Scarborough player impeded and York flanker Josh Parker was sent to the sin-bin.
The visitors opted for a scrum against the depleted home pack but failed to push the seven men over then moved the ball infield and lost possession. This lack of forward parity cost them dear as good work from lock Chris Fox and No8 Shane Goulding won York a penalty which fly-half Liam Hessay kicked to touch.
From the line out scrum-half Toby Atkin picked his way through the Scarborough defence to touchdown from 30 Metres. Dawes added the extras for a 10-0 York lead in the 22nd minute. Centres Chris Peace and Sam Forbes punched holes in the Scarborough mid-field but failed to add to York’s try tally before Dawes added a second penalty in the 32nd minute for a 13-0 lead.
The Scarborough ranks were depleted in the minutes before the break as they lost back row Ali Sutton and centre Tom Ratcliffe to injury; Ben Martin and Paul White joined the fray.
Starting the second half with a 13 point lead, York should have scored almost from the restart but butchered a gold plated opportunity when wing George Davies was bundled into touch. The Clifton Park faithful had but a couple of minutes to wait and when the Scarborough scrum was driven over their own line from their own put-it, Goulding got the touch for 18-0 in the 42nd minute.
York continued to completely dominate the forward exchanges and elected to take a scrum when awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute. A powerful drive sent the visiting eight back at a rate of knots and Goulding got the touch for his second try and a 23-0 lead. York attacked from the re-start and a powerful run from Goulding released fullback Dawes who galloped over and converted for 30-0 in the 54th minute.
And they repeated the dose with an almost identical try a minute later when substitute Joe Maud fielded the re-start and charged up-field past some pretty despairing attempted Scarborough tackles to release Peace who sent fly-half Hessay over. Dawes converted for 37-0.
Scarborough was run ragged and shell-shocked by the intensity of the home side and it was no surprise when centres Peace and Forbes combined to release substitute Gaz Singleton to power over. Dawes added the conversion for 44-0 in the 65th minute.
Scarborough at last got some reward for an afternoon of pain when slick handling in the backs saw second row Matty Oxtoby power over between the uprights in the 76th minute. Fly half Tom Harrison drop-kicked the conversion for 44-7.
York finished with a flourish as the visitors lost their shape and a further try for Singleton and a practically unopposed charge through the Scarborough defence by second row Luke Stockton to touchdown completed the scoring. Dawes converted for 56-7 in injury time.
Last week in my comments I said that Scarborough’s lack of possession from set pieces was the elephant in the room. Well the metaphorical Pachyderm made its presence felt in this game. Scarborough just about held their own up-front in the first half but were completely destroyed after the break losing their shape and even conceding a push over try on their own put in. However the talking point from this game should not be any failings of the visitors but the all-round abilities of a terrific York team. Coach Simon Smith will be disappointed but will know that his side was beaten by the team which, in all probability will win Yorkshire One. So; heads and hands up, the best team won and it’s on to the next challenge.