W - 35 - 10
By Dave Campbell
Scarborough bounced back from last week’s defeat at Morpeth to go top of North One East with a 35-10 win over West Leeds at Silver Royd.
A weakened Scarborough side with centre Matty Young injured and Jordi Wakeham and Tom Hicks unavailable took the game to the visitors in the early exchanges with No8 Ben Martin and centre Aaron Wilson making some powerful breaks into the Leeds 22.
The first quarter of the game was end to end stuff with honours even but with the stiff south-westerly breeze behind them West Leeds camped in the home 22 in the second quarter and took the lead in the 24th minute when winger Jack Marshall kicked a penalty for a 3-0 lead.
Solid defence on their own line on the half-hour kept the Seasiders in the game and they worked their way out of danger running from deep although both side conceded penalties in the cold windy conditions
However when the first try of the game came, it was an absolute cracker; Scarborough second row Luke Brown surged from midway through a crowd of bodies and offloaded to his fellow second rower Cade Robinson; he drove into the Leeds 22 before releasing fullback Manning Wilson who printed over in the right corner in the 39th minute. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras from wide and Scarborough led 7-3 at the interval.
Playing with the wind after the break the Seasiders made a lively start and extended their lead in the 53rd minute when a tap-penalty by centre Aaron Wilson was taken on by Luke Brown. The big second row was stopped just short of the line and No8 Ben Martin up in support, secured the ball and drove over; Ratcliffe converted for 14-3.
Skipper Matty Jones’s men maintained their pressure and dominated at the breakdown with Robinson, Wilson and flankers Drew and Euan Govier much to the fore. And when the visitors tried to run the ball from halfway a lofted pass was intercepted by Smith, moved on to replacement Billy Parker who released winger Jonty Holloway to glide down the left touchline and score in the 59th minute. Ratcliffe kicked his third conversion for 21-3.
Ben Martin was yellow-carded on the hour and sent to the bin following a bout of handbags after Holloway’s try. To add insult to injury West Leeds’ scrum half Dom Walsh who appeared to have sparked the incident which led to Martin’s card, touched down for the visitors in his absence and winger Jack Marshall converted to reduce the arrears to eleven points at 21-10 in the 63rd minute.
Scarborough kept the pressure up as they went for a fourth try that would guarantee a bonus point and when it came it was one right out of the top drawer. The Seasiders were camped just outside the visitors 22 and made inroads towards the line with several crash balls; however when the ball was recycled to Matty Jones, the big prop slid a perfect pass wide right to in-form Ratcliffe. The big fly-half gave a ‘show-and-go’ to the visiting defender, cut inside and sprinted to touchdown behind the posts in the 75th minute and added the conversion for 28-10.
But four tries was not enough for Simon Smith’s try-hungry charges and they rounded off the afternoon with a fifth to please the purists. Centre Aaron Wilson won turn-over ball on halfway and released Ratcliffe who glided into the Leeds 22 with the quiet power of a Rolls Royce before releasing Smith; he showed his opposite number Eliah Chitiyo a clean pair of heels and passed inside to Martin who powered over in the 79th minute. Ratcliffe converted for a resounding 35-10 win.
Scarborough deserved their bonus-point win which combined resolute defence and some great attacking rugby which produced five memorable tries. With Matty Young injured and Jordi Wakeham and Tom Hicks unavailable they took a while to settle but young stand-in scrum-half Alex Rowley, Ben Martin returning from injury with two tries and the re-shuffled backs warmed to their task as the game progressed with that bonus-point sending them to the top of the table once more.
Tries: ratcliffe, martin x 2, smith, holloway
Conversions: ratcliffe x 2
Scarborough: smith holloway perrett wilson marshall ratcliffe rowley cutino dawson jones (capt) robinson brown e.govier d.govier martin Substitutes: williams parker leah (all used).
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": tom ratcliffe
It’s never an easy task to name a man of the match with so many good performances all over the paddock. However as his great season continues, not many would argue that with Tom Ratcliffe’s incisive breaks and handling, augmented by a terrific try and five conversions in this game he very much deserved the accolade.