By Dave Campbell
A game of skill and passion which ebbed and flowed from start to finish saw Scarborough and York share fifteen classy tries with the Seasiders just edging what was undoubtedly the most exciting contest seen at Silver Royd since it opened in 2009.
York won possession from the kick-off and won a penalty which was kicked to the corner. From the resulting lineout they drove over with fly-half Liam Hessay touching down in the 4th minute. Fullback John Dawes missed a difficult conversion in the swirling wind. From the restart York regained possession and spread the ball wide left where centre George Davies cut inside and galloped over between the uprights. Dawe added the extras for a 12-0 York lead following an opening period when Scarborough failed to get their hands on the ball.
I feared the Seasiders may be swamped early in the game but they showed great resilience and fighting spirit living off scraps in the face of some brilliant possession rugby from the visitors and came storming back with tries from scrumhalf Jordy Wakeham who took a quick tap from a penalty in the York half to jink his way through the visiting defence to score in the 8th minute and wing Jack Anderson who showed his opposite number Rich Downey a clean pair of heals to power to over in the 15th minute to level the scores at 12-12. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe converted Wakeham’s effort.
Scarborough’s ‘in your face’ attitude at the breakdown was exemplified by French prop Alexi Coré who stole the ball at a ruck mid-way in the visitors half and muscularly barged his way through a posse of defenders for a brilliant solo try in the 25th minute; Ratcliffe converted for a 19-12 Scarborough lead.
The Minstermen who played some terrific rugby throughout, regained control particularly at the set scrum and tries from No8 Shane Goulding and wing Rich Downey, converted by Dawes saw them lead 24-19 at the break following a breathtaking first forty minutes.
The Champagne stuff continued after the break with Scarborough running in four tries without reply in 25 minutes; flanker Aaron Wilson, debutante forward Cane Robinson, lock Tom Hicks and Jordi Wakeham touching down; Ratcliffe converted two and with quarter of an hour to go Scarborough led 43-24.
Game over? Not a bit of it; the gutsy minstermen just wouldn’t lie down and regained control up front, running in another three tries. Hessay, followed by winger Gary Singleton then fullback Dawes crossed in the space of six minutes. Dawes converted two and the visitors had stunned the Silver Royd crowd into silence drawing level at 43-43 with three minutes to go.
With the game looking set for what would have been an unlikely draw the young Scarborough side drove deep into York territory and Jordi Wakeham threw a miss-pass to Jack Anderson just outside the visitors’ 22. He turned on the afterburners to take him to the line where he was held up. The ball was recycled and Wakeham passed inside and Matty Jones looped in to crash through and scatter a line of defending bodies on the line to score in the 81st minute and Silver Royd went wild! Ratcliffe the difficult wide conversion for a 50-43 win and a stunning end to a magnificent contest.
This was a game which could have gone either way and which neither side deserved to lose. York for the most part played an entertaining brand of running rugby augmented by excellent ball retention. Scarborough had to live off scraps for much of the time but were inventive, slick and played with controlled aggression in broken play. Newcomer Cade Robinson had an outstanding debut and bagged himself a try. The whole forward pack worked their collective socks off and prop Alexis Coré had his best game for the club. Behind them Jordi Wakeham took the plaudits with Ratcliffe and Perrett in a buzzing backline.
Tries: wakeham x 2, anderson, core, wilson, robinson, hicks, jones
Conversions: ratcliffe x 5
Tries: hessay x 2, davies, goulding, downey, singleton, dawes
Conversions: dawes x 4
Scarborough: perrett j. anderson young parker marshall ratcliffe wakeham corÉ dawson jones (capt) brown hicks wilson e.govier martin Substitutes: jordan holloway tom anderson cade robinson (all used)
Scarborough News "Man of the Match": alexis core
It was extremely difficult to pick someone following such a team effort but Alexis gets the nod following a terrific game in tight and loose and a try fashioned from pure guts and determination.