Papa John's Community Cup
Scarborough - 1st XV
By Charlie Hopper
Scarborough RUFC were knocked out of the Papa John’s Community Cup at the first hurdle, after being edged out 28-23 at Preston Avenue on Saturday Afternoon.
Matty Jones’ side made their first visit to Percy Park since 2020, when they were beaten 26-14 and they found themselves 3-0 down courtesy of a penalty from the boot of Ash Smith. Scarborough responded well and levelled up the match just minutes later after Tom Harrison slotted an easy penalty. In the 12th minute Park scored their first try of the match. Their driving maul picked up momentum and crashed over the line. Smith missed the penalty to leave his side leading 8-3. Jones’ side went in search of an immediate response but struggled to find a way through a well drilled Park defence. The home side extended their lead even further in the 26th minute. The winger collecting out wide and crossing over. The conversion hit the crossbar and fell short for 13-3. In the 32nd minute, Harrison kicked his second penalty to leave his side trailing 13-6 at the break.
Scarborough started the second half in the best possible fashion with an unconverted try. Euan Govier collected the ball and took it close to the line before being bundled over to score in the corner. At 13-11 it looked as if Jones’ side had found a way back into the game but conceded a soft penalty on halfway and let the home side back in. They took their chance, with the lineout being collected and the player crossing over from close range. Smith added the extras for 20-11. The Park fly-half was required again just minutes later after a forward pass was missed by the referee and they broke up field to score out wide for 25-11. On the verge of an exit, Scarborough came roaring back with a converted try of their own. Skipper Drew Govier cutting through the defence with ease to score. Park responded with a penalty of their own before second-row Will Rennard took his side within a score of -an unlikely win. He received the ball and crashed through a tiring defence for 28-23. Scarborough pushed hard late on but couldn’t find a last minute try and fell to a defeat.
The final game of the 2022-23 season sees Scarborough at Dronfield as Matty Jones’ side look to finish off in style.