L 14 - 17
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough’s much-anticipated re-match with league-leaders York failed to disappoint a big Silver Royd crowd which was treated to a cracking encounter between two fully committed sides. The Seasiders led at the break before the visitors struck with a couple of second half tries and dominated much of the second forty minutes; however following a late Scarborough try, the outcome was in doubt to the very end.
Enforced late changes for Scarborough saw Alex Rowley came in at scrum-half for Jordan Wakeham who had failed to fully recover from flu and Chris Purdy was on the bench for Euan Govier who had injured his ribs in training during the week.
York played into the teeth of a bitterly cold southeast wind blowing straight up the paddock from the Castle end of the ground and some poor early handling was caused by a touch of nerves and very cold hands. An early infringement saw Scarborough fly-half Tom Harrison give his side an early lead with the resulting penalty in the 3rd minute.
Unlike the first meeting between the clubs earlier in the season when York dominated, particularly in the forwards, they never had it all their own way and former Wakefield, Hullionians and Yorkshire tight-head Paul Johnson didn’t have things all his own way. In fact it was Scarborough’s Paul Taylor who looked the pick of the number threes in the early exchanges.
And when York flanker Joe Maud was sin-binned in the 10th minute, Harrison made no mistake with the kick for a 6-0 Scarborough lead.
York inside-centre Jon Dawes made a searing break taking play well into the home territory on the half-hour. Scarborough infringed and Dawes narrowly missed the kick into the wind. Full-back George Davies led a York incursion into home territory and when he was illegally stopped, Dawes had no difficulty with his kick from in front of the posts in the 36th minute to reduce the arrears at 6-3.
A superb flowing move up the Scarborough right looked as if it may bring a score for Matty Young but the mistimed pass missed the big wing and the chance went begging; however the visitors were pinged for offside and Harrison added his third penalty in the 40th minute for a 9-3 Scarborough lead at the break.
Playing with the wind behind them York came out for the second half with all guns firing. Scarborough conceded an early penalty and visiting scrum-half Toby Atkin took a quick tap and scampered for the home line. From an ensuing scrum the young number nine darted over for the opening try of the game in the 43rd minute. Dawes added the extras to nudge his side ahead for the first time in the game at 10-9.
Shortly after that Scarborough skipper Jones was sin-binned and York who were well on top by then, really turned the screw. Although they struggled to get out of their own half, dogged Scarborough defence with Ben Martin, Aaron Wilson, Matty Jones and Drew Govier to the fore, kept the deficit to a single point until just before the hour when No8 Shane Goulding crashed over between the uprights for the visitors. Dawes converted for 17-9.
With Jones restored to the front row and Taylor substituted for Scarborough, the York pack appeared to have the upper hand at times but also grew increasing frustrated at Referee Sean White’s interpretation of scrum infringements. However I think the official did very well to keep both front rows honest.
As the game went into the final ten minutes, several infringements by the visitors gave Scarborough possession in the York half and some great work with backs and forwards combining saw No8 Ben Martin, who was twice involved in the build-up, power over wide on the right in the 75th minute. A late gust of wind caught Harrison’s wide conversion attempt but York were hanging on at 17-14.
With nerves jangling the men from Clifton Park contested the final minutes around half-way and when they won a penalty in injury time they were happy to belt the ball into row Z and take their deserved win.
York showed why they’re top of Yorkshire One very much on Merit whilst all eighteen Scarborough players gave it their all although it wasn’t quite enough on the day.
Penalties: harrison x 3
Tries: atkins, goulding
Conversions: dawes x 2
Scarborough: perrett young ratcliffe parker domett harrison rowley jones dawson taylor readman watson wilson d.govier martin Substitutes: whitton purdy white
York: davies singleton forbes dawes hodges hessay atkin rutherford bowers johnson fox stockton maud parker goulding Substitutes: coe hannibal w.atkin
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": matty jones
On a day when Scarborough at the very least needed to have parity in the scrummage, Matty Jones, Sam Dawson and Paul Taylor had a great afternoon with Jones leading the side by example and giving the hugely experienced Paul Johnson a far from easy afternoon.