L 22 - 18
Scarborough - 1st XV
By David Campbell
A steady downpour and Low glowering clouds overhead were an omen of the dour encounter to follow at Dukes Park.
The soggy conditions dictated the tactics for the afternoon and a forward battle of attrition ensued with nothing much to separate the two packs of forwards in the early exchanges. Scarborough took an early lead when flyhalf Tom Ratcliffe stroked over a 30 metre penalty to nudge his side 3-0 ahead in the 5th minute.
The visitors failed to win the Bridlington re-start and the home eight impressed with some powerful driving play up their left flank. Scarborough defended well and repulsed several surges near their line; however the pressure eventually told and lively scrum half Sam Wragg burrowed over for the game’s first try; he missed with his conversion attempt and Brid led 5-3 in the 15th minute.
Scarborough drove up-field from the re-start but failed to find the fluency which has characterised their recent play and their ball retention let them down as they tried to set a platform to get their wide backs on the front foot. Wing Jack Anderson appeared to have outstripped the home defence in the 27th minute to touch down following a slick move down the Scarborough right flank but his effort was chalked off for a foot in touch in-goal.
However, the visitors were not long denied and following a series of five metre scrums wide on the left, No8 Ben Martin gathered and touched down near the corner flag in 34th minute; Ratcliffe just pulled the touchline conversion and Scarborough led 8-5.
Once again skipper Matty Jones’s men failed to field their own re-start and coach Shaun Fearn’s charges set up a series of drives which took them to the Scarborough line where Wragg drove over in the 40th minute for a similar try to his first.
The young number nine missed the conversion before a Ratcliffe penalty in the 42nd minute saw Scarborough to an 11-8 half-time lead.
Scarborough looked to play their open, running game but seven minutes into the second half a long mid-field pass was overrun by the intended recipient and Bridlington won possession at a ruck. It was up-your-jumper-time for skipper Josh Thundercliffe’s men who drove into visiting territory and having skilfully retained possession went over from close range and converted for a 15-11 lead.
Bridlington continued to play well in the conditions and their ball retention at drives and rucks made sure they protected their ball, starving the visitors of possession for long periods of the half. With about five minutes on the clock they were parked on the Scarborough line going for a pushover try when they uncharacteristically lost control and the ball was hoofed up-field. Ratcliffe hacked on and centre Jimmy Perrett outpaced the entire Bridlington defence to gain possession and aquaplane over the line. Ratcliffe added the extras to nudge his side 18-15 ahead against the run of play in injury time.
Following an injury-free second half, the referee Mr Walker added six minutes of injury time? Scarborough was unable to regain possession which allowed Bridlington to spend a final five minutes in Scarborough territory where the ball was moved left from a ruck and fly-half Morgan Bunting on the overlap crossed to score and add the conversion for a not undeserved 22-18 win.
Tries: martin, perrett
Penalties: ratcliffe x 2
Tries: wragg x 2, thundercliffe, bunting
Scarborough: holloway anderson perrett parker marshall ratcliffe wakeham jones (capt) dawson cutino wilson hicks e.govier d.govier martin Substitutes: core leah fowler
Bridlington: davies bennington morrison martin burrows bunting wragg nepia johnson thundercliffe (capt) roberts cappleman sanderson healy thompson Substitutes: webb risdale robinson
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": thomas hicks
In addition to his work at the set pieces, second row Tom Hicks took the plaudits in this game for his dynamic open play and his ability to make his physical presence felt in the forward exchanges.