L 18 - 24
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough’s promotion hopes were massively dented when they went down 18-24 to Old Rishworthians. Their opponents came to Silver Royd with a plan they executed with a mixture of brain, brawn and skill exposing a home side who looked one dimensional on the day.
Wing Anthony Shoesmith athletically secured the ‘Rish’ kick-off and the pack went through a series of ‘pick and goes’ before hefty prop Josh Crickmay powered over from short range without a Scarborough hand touching the ball. Scrum half Edward Cockroft missed the conversion and the visitors were 5-0 to the good with only three minutes on the clock.
The Seasiders had plenty of possession in their own half and with Tom Harrison back on duty at fly-half following a lengthy lay off they looked to put the ball through hands. However a very flat visiting defence tackled with ferocity on the gain line and Scarborough failed to spot the acres of open space behind them.
And when they looked to move the ball wide without committing defenders a lofted pass on halfway was plucked out of the air by Shoesmith who galloped away to outpace a posse of chasers and score in the 12th minute. Cockroft was again unsuccessful with the kick.
The visiting tight-five had the better of the forward exchanges and the mobile, young home back-row therefore found it difficult to get into the game.
Scarborough continued to press in the second quarter but too often looked to rush things losing fluidity and composure. They did break through late in the half and pressed on the visitors’ line, however they conceded turnover ball and Rish fullback Luke Flanagan cleared to half way.
The lineout was taken quickly and moved infield where another loose pass saw visiting centre Sam Nunn intercept and speed to the line for a third try. Cockroft added the extras and Rishworthians led 17-0 at the break.
Scarborough made a positive start to the second forty minutes applying pressure and Tom Ratcliffe kicked a couple of penalties in the 45th and 48th minutes to reduce the arrears at 6-17. Rish lost the services of flanker Harvey Keighley-Payne, sin-binned in the wake of the second penalty.
However the Seasiders couldn’t take advantage of their numerical advantage and Payne returned to the fray in the 58th minute without further addition to the home tally. And he made his presence felt immediately taking a catch at a lineout in the Scarborough 22; prop Harry Whitfield drove it towards the line and Crickmay powered over for his second try of the afternoon in the 59th minute. Cockroft converted for a 24-6 lead.
The visitors appeared to tire in the final quarter which was understandable due to a terrific defensive effort on their part and Scarborough took advantage driving into their 22 where slick handling sent hooker Sam Dawson in between the uprights in the 70th minute; Ratcliffe drop-kicked the conversion to cut the deficit at 13-24.
At last Scarborough appeared to recognise how much space there was behind the flat defensive line and added some variety to their attack. The men from Halifax held their ground but were visibly tiring. And when the visiting defence was sucked in wide on their right, a clever cross-field kick from Ratcliffe found substitute winger Jonty Holloway unmarked on the opposite wing and the youngster got the touch for a well worked try. And although the kick was missed it was ‘game on’ at 18-24.
However there was only a minute on the clock and although the home side looked to keep possession and perhaps snatch a try for an unlikely win it wasn’t to be and Old Rishworthians celebrated a memorable and deserved win at the end.
Tries: holloway, dawson
Penalties: ratcliffe x 2
Tries: crickmay x 2, shoesmith, nunn
Conversions: cockroft x 2
Scarborough: perrett young parker ratcliffe domett harrison wakeham jones(c) dawson whitton watson purdie wilson d.govier martin Substitutes: e.govier williams holloway
Old Rishworthians: flanagan bake waugh nunn shoesmith kelly cockroft whitfield stone crickmay swarbrooke(c) heseltine rollings keighley-payne edwards Substitutes: kershaw robinson falkner
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": aaron wilson
On a day when his side was under the cosh for most of the game, Aaron did what a good six should do and harried and put the opposition midfield and back row under pressure. As a young and inexperienced player his positional play will improve but his tackling, strength in possession and commitment was inspiring.