L 31 - 39
Scarborough - 1st XV
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough were almost blown-away by a whirlwind start by Morley in which the Leeds-based outfit ran in four tries playing champagne rugby and earning a bonus-point with less than fifteen minutes of the game played.
Morley were out of their traps in lightning fashion and were ahead in less than a minute when a razor-sharp break that saw the ball moved through five pairs of hands to Loose-head Prop Dan Percival who drove over from close range; stand-off Mark Chester converted for 7-0.
There was no let up in the action as a well-judged line kick from Chester set up a Scarborough defensive lineout just outside their five metre line. A Scarborough hand knocked the ball forward to Morley No8 Brandon Hannan who had the simplest of task of scoring from close range and the home side stretched their lead to 12-0 after only 3 minutes.
And the tries kept coming with the visitors looking shell-shocked by the Morley Blitzkrieg which saw lock Mike Shannon and winger Scott Turner cross in the 9th and 14 minutes respectively; Chester converted both for a 26-0 lead.
With the sizeable Scarborough support fearing a massive thumping, the Seasiders won possession in their own half in the 20th minute; a favourable bounce allowed them to break up-field and spend some time in the Morley 22 for the first time in the game. And from a scrum in the 29th minute the ball was moved swiftly right for winger Matty Young to cross in the corner and reduce the arrears at 26-5.
The Seasiders were caught offside following the re-start after their try and Chester kicked the penalty to stretch the home lead to 29-5. Scarborough came straight back and centre Aaron Wilson broke from mid-way to take play into the home 22. Morley gave away several penalties before the referee ran out of patience and sin-binned Mark Chester for failing to release a tackled player.
Morley conceded a scrum penalty and quick-thinking scrum half Jordi Wakeham tapped and released fullback Jimmy Perrett to surge over and cut the lead to 29-10 at the break.
Scarborough made a far steadier start to the second half than they done the first, pushing up and getting into the faces of the home side and further reduced the arrears in the 49th minute when a slick midfield break released Perrett to sprint away to his side’s third unanswered try; Ratcliffe added the extras to reduce the arrears to twelve points at 29-17.
With Euan Govier, Luke Brown, Tom Hicks and prop Nino Cutino taking the game to the home side and regularly getting across the gain line the Seasiders turned the screw on the home line and anything begun to look possible. However Scarborough’s Cade Robinson was sent off on the hour when he was adjudged to have punched Morley fly-half Mark Chester.
Morley took advantage of their numerical superiority when having laid siege to the Scarborough line for a period of time, prop Dan Percival eventually burrowed over for his sides’ fifth try in the 64th minute; Chester converted to stretch the lead to 36-17.
Scarborough’s 14 men never let their heads drop and redoubled their efforts earning a bonus point in the 69th minute when a pop-pass from Wakeham sent man-of-the-match Luke Brown over between the uprights; Ratcliffe converted.
Leading 36-24 Morley stretched their lead further two minutes later when Scarborough were caught offside and Chester continued his good kicking form with the resulting penalty for 39-24.
Fifteen points adrift the Seasiders continued to look for a losing bonus point to add to their try-bonus and No8 Ben Martin powered over in the 76th minutes and Ratcliffe added the extra two for 39-31. Skipper Matty Jones’s men looked for any score to take them within seven points of their opponents but Morley wound the clock down a distance from their own line on half-way.
Having come from 0-26 down early in the game, Scarborough showed terrific spirit and application to fight back and earn a bonus point which keeps them in the running as the promotion race in North One East will almost certainly go down to the wire with three games to go.
Tries: young, perrett x 2, brown, martin
Conversions: ratcliffe x 3
Tries: percival x 2, hannan, shannon, turner
Conversions: chester x 4
Penalties: chester x 2
Scarborough: perrett young wilson parker holloway ratcliffe wakeham dowson williams jones (capt) brown hicks robinson d. govier martin Substitutes: cutino e.govier stewart (all used)
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": luke brown
Luke played a major part as his side fought back from a disastrous start; breaking the gain line with regularity, getting in the faces of a slick Morley side and scoring the try which ensured they took a bonus point from the game.