W 26 - 17
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough kept their promotion push on track with a 24-17 bonus-point win over Hullensians at a fog shrouded Silver Royd on a pitch made very heavy by twelve hours heavy rain.
The Seasiders had been out of action for three weeks since their surprise home defeat by Old Rishworthians and the postponed game at Heath but came out of the traps quickly opening their account in the 5th minute with a somewhat lucky try. A loose pass in the visitors’ 22 hit the heel of centre Jimmy Perrett and popped into the hands of winger Matty Young who crossed for the simplest of tries. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for a 7-0 lead with only five minutes on the clock.
Both sides struggled with the conditions underfoot but Scarborough looked the more confident of the sides in possession and took the game to the Humbersiders with probing runs and some clever line kicking from Tom Ratcliffe.
Although they probably had the edge at the set pieces the visitors struggled to get out of their own half and Scarborough always looked dangerous going forward; it was no surprise therefore when a swift move following a scrum in the Hullensians’ half saw centre Billy Parker create space for left wing Harry Domett to power over in the 15th minute. Ratcliffe once again kicked the touchline conversion for 14-0.
Scarborough faced a big, heavy front row which scrummaged powerfully but they held their own; hooker Sam Dawson took the eye with some powerful foraging runs punching holes for centres Parker and Jimmy Perrett. And the Seasiders stretched their lead when No8 Ben Martin crossed in the 28th minute following pressure in the visitors’ 22. Ratcliffe made it a hat-trick of conversions with the kick for 21-0.
Hullensians at last got themselves into home territory from the re-start and good work by hooker Ian Irvine who had a terrific game saw his side retain possession in the Scarborough 22. And following sustained pressure No8 Jason Conroy burrowed over in the 34th minute.
Leading 21-5 Scarborough kept their foot on the gas and a swift counter-attack down their left flank saw fullback Tom Harrison outstrip the visiting defence only to be illegally halted metres from the line. However the quick-thinking fullback took a tap-penalty and darted over for a fourth Scarborough try. Ratcliffe’s conversion just shaved the upright but Scarborough led 26-5 at the break.
I don’t know what was said at half-time but a seemingly rejuvenated Hullensians appeared after the interval and they went on to dominate a second half which was as one-sided as the first, only in their favour. They laid siege to the Scarborough line almost from the re-start however Scarborough defended with commitment and resilience; more so when scrum-half Jordan Wakeham was yellow carded in the 49th minute.
Skipper Matty Jones’s men dug deep with all hands to the pump and survived Wakeham’s absence without conceding. However pressure eventually told and when they ran out of numbers deep in their own 22, right wing Rob Harding surged over for the visitors in the 63rd minute. Substitute Guy Martinson failed to convert.
Trailing 10-26 Hullensians really impressed with their handling and ball retention as the game went into its final stages; however Scarborough’s commitment never faltered as demonstrated by Jonty Holloway when he came on for Matty Young in the 70th minute; the young winger’s first action involved a superb cover tackle to prevent his opposite number Josh Langford making a half break and getting away down the left touchline.
However following sustained pressure in the dying seconds of the game scrum-half Chris Smith managed to somehow burst through the middle of a ruck for a third Hull try. Martinson converted with the last kick of the game.
On a surface that sapped the strength of both sides, Scarborough looked the more tired of the two at the end; attributable I think to a lack of match practice and forty solid minutes of defence. The Humbersiders were unfortunate to come away empty handed given their contribution to the game.
Tries: matty young, harry domett, ben martin, tom harrison
Conversions: ratcliffe x 3
Tries: jason conroy, rob harding, chris smith
Scarborough: harrison young parker perrett ratcliffe wakeham whitton dawson jones(c) readman watson wilson d.govier martin Substitutes: cutino holloway purdy (all used)
Hullensians: bloomfield r.harding lound melhuish langford c. harding c. smith haytak irvin marren a.smith jackson brothwood dynan conroy Substitutes: t.smith jones martinson
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": tom ratcliffe
In very difficult conditions underfoot Tom turned in a mature performance of variety and skill orchestrating his back line with ball in hand and turning the visiting defence with intelligent use of the boot. And his howitzer ‘hoof’ was able to relieve his beleaguered defence in the second half.