Dave Campbell’s online column FROM THE TOUCHLINE – Can the Seasiders stop the rot?

12 Dec

ZYBNEC SCHUTZ IN ACTION AT YORK

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Last Saturday Scarborough played some great stuff in the first half of their derby clash with York at Clifton Park and led 17-5 at the break thanks to tries from Tom Ratcliff and Mikey Readman with flyhalf Tom Harrison converting both and adding a penalty. The sin-binning of talismanic centre Benji Cottle just a few minutes into the second half brought about a reversal in fortunes with the Minster-men coming back into the game scoring a couple of tries in his absence and going on to win 27-22. Coach Lee Douglas and his players have to quickly find the solution to their second half disappearance in a third of their games which has seen them slip from second to seventh in Yorkshire One in a few weeks. I have spoken to several players during the week and in the main they are at odds themselves as to what happens in these games. I personally think that mental toughness is the answer; composure, confidence and decision making under pressure being the key. Their commitment and effort is not in question, every man jack of them was exhausted at the end of the game at York. Tomorrow they travel to bottom club Acklam for their final game before the Christmas/New Year break. Their Middlesbrough-based opponents have yet to win a league game and were on the wrong end of a 52-0 scoreline at Silver Royd in the first home game of the season. However since then they have improved at home; if not in results but in performance and have run several visiting sides close, notably the 33-26 defeat by North Ribblesdale and the game with Bridlington in which they led going into the last ten minutes of the game before going down 26-16 to the men from Dukes Park. So Saturday’s game is a potential massive banana skin but talking to the players this week and reading skipper Tom Harrison’s comments in today’s Scarborough News it’s pretty obvious there will no complacency on Saturday and minds will hopefully be focused for the full eighty minutes of the game.

Corey Dennis who has been studying in Singapore is home on holiday and has trained twice this week. He has been picked at fullback for Saturday’s game with Graeme Jeffrey moving to the wing. Last week’s man-of-the-match Zybnec Schutz injured a shoulder and will miss the game; Jake Rollinson deputizes. Up front Nino Cutino starts in the front row with Ian Williams and Paul Taylor whilst Matthew Else and Blake Nightingale return in the back row. Tom Ratcliffe, Ryan Pickering and Matty Oxtoby are on the bench. In other senior rugby, The Vikings are in action at Acklam and the Gulls take on Harrogate Veterans in the Pete Emms Memorial game at Silver Royd; all kick-offs at 2.15pm.

Pick of Saturday’s Yorkshire One fixtures will be the top of the table clash between second-placed Ilkley and third-placed Wath; leaders Doncaster Phoenix are at Selby. Elsewhere Heath, Brods and Pontefract host Keighley, North Ribblesdale and  Dinnington  respectively. Bridlington are at York. Locally, Malton entertain Alnwick in North One East.

A feast of junior rugby at Silver Royd on Sunday will see Scarborough under 14s playing Keighley (kick-off to be announced), the under 15s taking on Middlesbrough at 11am and the under 16s hosting Middlesbrough at 1230 in the 3rd round of the Yorkshire cup.  The Minis take on Driffield from under 6 to under 11 levels. The under 17s are at Thirsk in the Yorkshire League.

BENJI COTTLE IN ACTION IN THE 52-0 DEFEAT OF ACKLAM AT SILVER ROYD

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