Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
HUDDERSFIELD YMCA 17 SCARBOROUGH 35
Scarborough continued their promising start to the season with a 35-17 bonus-point win at a rain-sodden Huddersfield YMCA on Saturday.
The Seasiders made a great start when the YM kick-off went directly into touch; from the resulting scrum on half way fly-half Tom Ratcliffe hoisted a huge Garryowen into the home 22 which was fumbled. Scrum half Jordan Wakeham dinked the ball over a flat defence and Ratcliffe surged through to collect and score. The big ten added the extras for 7-0 with less than two minutes on the clock.
In a downpour the visitors had the lion’s share of territorial possession in the early stages and it was no surprise when Ratcliffe added to his personal points tally with a penalty in the 12th minute for a 10-0 lead.
The Seasiders seemed to be in control with half-backs Ratcliffe and Wakeham running the show; however a rare incursion into visiting territory wide on the YM right saw the ball moved infield by YMCA right wing Will Burns-Smith for centre Gavin Stead to power over and convert his own effort to reduce the arrears at 7-10 in the 22nd minute.
Undeterred Scarborough kept up the pressure and camped in the home half; however when Ratcliffe put a towering kick into the YM 22 it was superbly fielded metres from his own line by Burns-Smith who scampered downfield leaving a trail of would-be Scarborough tacklers in his wake; he was eventually caught by visiting centre Aaron Wilson who effected a tap tackle just inside the Scarborough 22 but Smith offloaded to Stead who crossed and added the extras for a 14-10 Huddersfield lead somewhat against the run of play in the 33rd minute.
Having lost No8 Ben Martin injured in the second quarter Scarborough had to re-shuffle their pack with Billy Parker usually a centre, coming on in the back row and from there on in, the forwards were re-shuffled with replacement prop Sam Peate and Will Leah joining Parker. Chris Purdy who turned in a powerful performance in the second and back rows was outstanding.
A searing break by winger Jonty Holloway almost regained the lead for the visitors but following a ruck on the YM line, Ratcliffe slipped the ball inside to centre Angus Frend who went in between the uprights. Ratcliff converted for a 17-14 Scarborough lead.
With half-time beckoning; Aaron Wilson broke from deep into Huddersfield territory and from a consequent ruck on the home line the livewire Wakeham released prop Nino Cutino to power over on the stroke of half-time; Ratcliffe converted for a 24-14 lead at the break.
The punishing conditions sapped the energy of both sides who did exceedingly well to produce such an entertaining game and consequently the only scores in the third quarter was an exchange of penalties between Stead and Ratcliffe in the 45th and 53rd minutes and Scarborough led 27-17 going into the fourth quarter of the game.
Scarborough turned the screw and camped in the Huddersfield 22 looking for a fourth bonus-point-earning try and were rewarded in the 74th minute when Parker rounded off his outstanding contribution by barging over to the left of the uprights for 32-17. Ratcliffe missed the conversion but added an injury-time penalty for a well-deserved 35-17 win.
Starting with an already re-shuffled pack minus prop Matty Jones, lock Luke Brown and skipper Drew Govier Scarborough had to cope with the further disruption of Ben Martin’s first half departure with injury and they coped admirably well in atrocious conditions with Purdy outstanding. Halfbacks Ratcliffe and Wakeham ran the show with cohesion and assurance.
Scarborough: hocking, marshall, frend, wilson, jonty holloway , ratcliffe (c), wakeham, cutino, smyth, nellist, watson, purdy, jordan holloway, e. govier, martin Substitutes: peate, leah, parker
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": tom ratcliffe
With outstanding contributions all over the paddock there were plenty of candidates for man of the match, including Jordy Wakeham, Chris Purdy. Aaron Wilson and Billy Parker; however Tom Ratcliffe was in the thick of things throughout and his tally of twenty points made a huge contribution to a terrific team performance.