Dave Campbell’s FROM THE TOUCHLINE column on-line. Wath home

28 Nov




Although I’ve at times over the years criticised referees, I know we just couldn’t have a game without them. Over the last month or so I have seen referees constantly harped at from the touchline and in the case of Old Brods, from the players on the paddock. Three weeks ago at Brods, referee John Wolstenholme was vilified by the crowd and players when he awarded Scarborough a try in injury time when everyone with the exception of him had ‘seen’ Benji Cottle lose possession in the act of scoring. I was behind the dead ball line behind the posts with rain lashing into me and couldn’t say if the people at Hipperholme were right or wrong but as we all know the referee is the final arbiter of fact and time so he must have been right! Last week at Pontefract referee Steve Hayne was assailed from the stands with cries of “get the backs onside” and “look behind you” at every scrum and ruck. I think they must watch far too much telly where referee’s and touch judges are wirelessly connected and manage the match between them. Unfortunately at level seven we neither have teams of officials or referees with eyes in the back of their heads so we have to manage with what we’ve got. Now I’m no angel but if we can all give the ref’s lug‘oles a rest on Saturday, maybe the poor bloke can concentrate on the difficult job at hand.

Scarborough’s defeat at Pontefract last Saturday was only the west Yorkshiremen’s third win of the season and Coach Lee Douglas’ men turned in a more than lack lustre performance; they conceded three tries with less than half an hour on the clock and played catch-up for the rest of the game. They have in some of their games been the league’s comeback kings this season but having trailed 5-15 at the break they could only manage one more try in the second half and ‘Ponte’ deserved their win. The Ponte Coach informed me that it was the strongest side they have been able to field all season due to injury and perhaps the Seasiders had taken their challenge too lightly. That certainly won’t be the case tomorrow; Wath-upon-Dearne are having a good season and are third in the league with thirty-five points, three more than Scarborough. However, they’ve lost their last two games on the road, at fast-improving Dinnington (24-17) three weeks ago and 32-16 at Doncaster Phoenix last Saturday. Last season the men from Silver Royd did the double over Wath winning 22-18 with an injury-time try from Nino Cutino away from home in November and scored five tries in a 33-13 win here at Silver Royd in April. Both sides will look to bounce back from last week’s disappointments so a hard-fought close game is in prospect. For Saturday’s game Jan Teiber returns in the centre with Tom Ratcliffe coming in for Andy Baird on the wing. Up front Tommy Goodman starts in the front row, Nick Ingham is in the engine room and Chris Purdy starts at open-side flanker. Mikey Readman, Ryan Pickering and Jake Rollinson are on the bench.

Elsewhere, the Vikings are on the road at Hull where brothers Rory and Jordan Day will play for the Silver Royd second string. The club’s veteran’s side, The ‘Gulls’ are also on their travels with Leeds their destination. They take on Roundhegians and boast a star-studded line-up of former first teamers including Steve Hopper, Jason Lowde, Bill Freeman, Marcus Edwards, Craig Farrell and many more. All three games kick-off at 2.15pm.

Apart from the Scarborough-Wath clash at Silver Royd, the pick of tomorrow’s Yorkshire One action is at Ilkley where the home side take on Dinnington. Ilkley have won their last four on the bounce whilst their south Yorkshire opponents have won their previous five; so they outcome is anybody’s guess. Elsewhere Heath, Keighley and Pontefract entertain North Ribblesdale, Doncaster Phoenix and York respectively. At the bottom of the table Bridlington are at Selby and Acklam travel to Old Brodleians.

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