Archive | January, 2014

Dave Campbell’s FROM THE TOUCHLINE on-line Guisborough Shield quarter-final

31 Jan




Guisborough travel south tomorrow in high spirits having lost only two games in their last twelve and looking to advance to the semi-final of the Yorkshire Challenge Shield at the expense of Scarborough. They have a three year unbeaten record at their Belmangate ground and sit third in Durham/Northumberland One behind leaders Horden and Blyth; both of whom they have beaten earlier in the season.  Last week they had far too much for visitors Stockton and ran out comfortable 48-5 winners over the mid-table side. The men in black and gold have scored four or more tries on twelve occasions this season and have lost only four games, all away from home; at Darlington, Stockton, Gosforth and Hartlepool Rovers; a very impressive record. Coach Lee Douglas’ charges on the other hand made an impressive start to the season losing only one in our first ten games. However, they have won only two of their last eight, at Acklam before Christmas and against Heath here at Silver Royd in the first game of 2014.  Last week, arriving in benign weather conditions at Dinnington, Chris Purdy won the toss and chose to play up the slope in the first half; however when the teams came out for the kick-off they were greeted by a storm of biblical proportions; rain, hail, and a gale blowing down the slope directly in their faces to say nothing of thunder and lightning. Harry Domett scored a try in the opening minute of the game but with everything in their favour weather-wise, Dinnington took control up front and scored four first half tries to lead 24-7 at halftime.  Miraculously the weather cleared up completely for the second forty minutes and the south Yorkshiremen went on to deservedly win 34-7 and go top of Yorkshire One. 34-7 was our biggest defeat of the season by a very long way.  For tomorrow’s game Tom Harrison returns at fullback, Billy Parker plays in the centres and skipper Phil Watson joins Matty Oxtoby in the second row. Being a Shield game there are four substitutes; Ryan Pickering, Joe Lenton, Blake Nightingale and Tommy Goodman. With their league chance now gone, the Shield is the club’s only hope for success this season but it won’t be easy; Guisborough knocked out Bradford Salem with a 38-22 home victory back in November and with their outstanding league form, will start tomorrow’s game as favourites. Phil Watson’s men will have to produce something special to progress to a semi-final against Selby who beat York 34-24 in their quarter-final under lights on Tuesday.




The RBS Six Nations Championship is for me the greatest rugby tournament in the world, bar none and like everyone else I’m excited ahead of the kick-off tomorrow. Unlike competitions in the southern hemisphere, the distances travelled, in international terms are minimal and therefore there is greater sporting and social atmosphere surrounding the games; next week I’ll tell you some of my best stories from the tournament. Now to rugby; the French, who were resting whilst the cream of British and Irish talent were in Australia last summer, could again be favourites this time, although anything would be an improvement on last year’s wooden spoon effort. England with a refreshed back line are in Paris tomorrow and the outcome of the clash at the Stade de France could set either of the protagonists on the road to a Grand Slam.  Champions Wales and Ireland have home ‘bankers’ against Italy and Scotland respectively and should start their campaigns on a positive note. I’ll of course be reporting on the Scarborough-Guisborough game tomorrow afternoon but will be fighting for a place in front of the big screens in the J.M. Guthrie come Paris kick-off at 5pm. 

Dave Campbell’s full report on Dinnington-Scarborough

27 Jan




Dinnington  34  Scarborough  7 

By Dave Campbell 

Referee: Mr Nigel Dickinson  (West Yorkshire society) 

In-form Dinnington moved to the top of Yorkshire One with a bonus-point 34-7 win over visitors Scarborough in, at times atrocious conditions in south Yorkshire. 

Arriving in benign weather conditions at Dinnington’s Lodge Lane ground, Scarborough skipper Chris Purdy won the toss and chose to play up the slope in the first half but when the teams came out for the kick-off they were greeted by a storm of biblical proportions; rain, hail, and a gale blowing down the slope directly in their faces to say nothing of thunder and lightning. 

It was a real surprise when Scarborough grabbed the lead with only a minute or so on the clock; Dinnington fullback Neceedo Pietersen fumbled a Scarborough clearing kick and winger Harry Domett pounced to hack through and get the touch. Fly-half Tom Ratcliffe added the extras for a 7-0 lead. The lead was extremely short-lived as from the re-start the south Yorkshiremen won a penalty. Fly-half Jonny West found touch with the kick and from the resulting catch and drive No8 Will Marshall got the touch in the 3rd minute. West kicked the conversion to level the scores at 7-7. 

With the near gale force wind and driving rain behind them, Dinnington took control and increased their lead in the 15th minute when Marshall drove over from a Maul; West converted for 14-7. The strength of the wind behind the south Yorkshiremen was such as a perfectly legal pass from West was blown forward and the visitors gained the put-in at the scrum. Scarborough struggled to get out of their own half but when they did in the 24th minute, a Dinnington fumble in their own 22 saw the Seasiders win possession and recycle; however an infield pass was dropped and the chance had gone. 

Pinned deep in their own territory by the conditions, a powerful home pack and some well-judged line-kicking by West, the Seasiders conceded from a catch-and-drive on the half-hour; this time flanker Ryan Donnelly drove over. West was unsuccessful with the kick. Leading 19-7 and with conditions improving, Dinnington continued to dominate up front and another powerful forward drive saw West released to cross on the stroke of half-time. The conversion was missed and Dinnington led 24-7 at the break. 

A near miraculous transformation in the weather occurred in the minutes leading up to and during the half-time break and the teams came out for the second half in Sunny conditions. It made no difference as far as the power of the Dinnington eight were concerned as ex-Rotherham Titans lock John Dudley on as a substitute, powered over only two minutes after the re-start. 

Scarborough stuck to their task but could make little headway against their well-organized opponents who looked dangerous every time they were in possession. The improvement in conditions levelled the contest but for the visitors, ball retention and handling in the conditions were proving difficult and both sides were struggling on what was by now, a quagmire. Even with a mud bath underfoot, both sides endeavoured to run the ball; however it was no surprise that when the final score of the game came it was through the forwards, prop John Marshall going over in the 68th minute. West was unsuccessful with the conversion. 

Scarborough still had their share of defending to do but stuck to their task with application and commitment and couldn’t be faulted for effort. Defences prevailed in the closing stages and the south Yorkshiremen ran out worthy 34-7 winners. In the conditions both sides did remarkably well to provide the standard of game they did.


For Scarborough, forwards Mark Hopper, Blake Nightingale and Matthew Else took the plaudits whilst behind them Graeme Jeffrey and substitute centre Billy Parker worked well. Dinnington, with the experienced John Dudley and Simon Bunting working on and off the field with their former Rotherham Titans teammate Coach Craig West, have brought on the players around them and they deservedly sit on top of Yorkshire One following this win. 

Scarborough: Jeffrey Lenton Cottle Teiber Domett Ratcliffe Schutz Cutino Hopper Taylor Readman Hoggard Purdy Nightingale Else. Substitutes: Pickering Parker Oxtoby 

Dinnington: Pietersen Stimpson Rodgers Miller Williams West Reynolds Marshall Starr Bunting Dunn Pilkington Donnelly Doughty Marshall Substitutes: Dudley Levers Woodcock




Dave Campbell’s on-line ‘From the Touchline’ column – Dinnington away

24 Jan




Scarborough and Dinnington had contrasting starts to this season with the Seasiders losing only one of their opening ten games and the south Yorkshiremen losing three of their opening six.  However Coach Lee Douglas’ charges have faltered recently with only two wins in their last seven, whereas Dinnington have lost only two of their last fourteen and now sit comfortably in second place in Yorkshire One with 64 points. The south Yorkshiremen are one of the form teams in the league, having won on their last five outings. Last week they had too much for visitors Bridlington running out convincing 46-5 home winners in south Yorkshire.  Dinnington have lost four games this season, all on the road; at Ilkley, Scarborough, York and at Old Brodleians on the opening day of the season; all before the new year. In the game between the clubs at Silver Royd back in October, Scarborough raced to a 15-6 half-time lead thanks to tries from Kiwis Blake Nightingale and Benji Cottle. Not for the first time this season a re-shuffle in the Scarborough front row led to a loss of domination in the forwards and from having bossed the forward battle the Seasiders struggled. A try from Dinnington No8 Danny Pilkington reduced the arrears in the 66th minute and it was definitely ‘game on’; however a magnificent Scarborough defensive effort instigated by a further re-organization of the front row saw the home side hold on and then almost stretch their four point lead at the death and they were full value for their narrow 15-11 win.  The Scarborough line-up for tomorrow’s game shows only three changes from the side that finished the game back in October and the addition of Jan Teiber and Zybnec Schutz who were on international duty for the first game and the return of young Joe Lenton, who is on the bench, can only be good news. Matty Oxtoby, who has been the find of the year in the second row is unable to travel due to work commitments but will play for the Vikings who take on BP Chemicals at Silver Royd, kick-off 2.15pm.  The Scarborough second string, who have had a successful season and defeated visitors Ilkley seconds 3-0 thanks to a penalty from fly-half Phil Stewart last weekend, field a strong side including Andy Baird, Billy Parker, Rory Day, Tom Fish, Matt Lucas, Stewart and Ian Williams who have all seen action with the first fifteen this season. The Danesmen take on Driffield hoping to continue the form that saw them defeat Withernsea 20-15 at Silver Royd last Saturday. A couple of tries from young Joe Marshall on his senior debut and one for his dad Keith made it a memorable afternoon for the Marshall family.







Dual-code centre Craig Farrell came back with a bang in a friendly win at Driffield just after Christmas and was in the side that beat Heath at Silver Royd in the first league game of the year. He limped out of the game with a hamstring injury and has been missing since. I know he had hoped to be fit for Saturday but apparently he has yet to fully recovery. A fit ‘Faz’ would, I’m sure give the side a boost for the Yorkshire Shield quarter-final against Guisborough at Silver Royd next week.

Finally, if you read the Scarborough News you will have noted that some pictures of the rugby union by Andy Standing have appeared lately. Andy’s excellent photographs have also been appearing regularly in this column and on the Scarborough Rugby Club website. He had been very involved with football through Scarborough Town but with their unfortunate demise has turned his attention to rugby amongst other sports. He has been highly praised for excellent motor sport photography and I am particularly happy to welcome his contribution to rugby.

Scarborough push league-leaders Ilkley all the way

18 Jan


A much improved Scarborough led Ilkley 6-0 at half time thanks to a couple of Tom Ratcliffe penalties. A couple of penalties followed by a converted try on the hour saw the Dalesmen to a narrow but deserved 13-6 victory. Full report in The Scarborough News on-line tomorrow and in print on Thursday.


2013 in review

18 Jan

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Dave Campbell’s on-line ‘From the Touchline’ column – Ilkley home

18 Jan

Paul Taylor, Matty Oxtoby, Harry Domett and Blake Nightingale in action at Bridlington



The sun shone brightly at Dukes Park last Saturday but it was anything but a bright day for the team or our travelling supporters. Once again defeat at Bridlington was a bitter pill to swallow following three consecutive wins over coach Rich Girking’s charges at Silver Royd.  It’s over four years since our last win on their patch and once again we came away empty handed, losing by a rather flattering (to Brid) 22-10 scoreline. However we mustn’t dwell on that reverse and look to the challenge facing Coach Lee Douglas’ men this afternoon. League-leaders Ilkley travel east in good spirits unbeaten in all but one of their last fourteen games and having won their last nine. Last week the Dalesmen turned out their strongest lineup of the season and perhaps expected a stroll in the park against Heath. However as on their visit to Silver Royd a couple of weeks ago, Heath gave a good account of themselves and led 8-5 at the break. A much improved second half performance saw second row Steve Burns crash over for a couple of tries and the home side took control to run out 29-8 winners. Back in early October in the corresponding game at Stacks Field, the teams fought out a 17-17 draw; Scarborough led 14-0 at one stage in the first half but had to come back from 14-17 behind to grab the draw with a Tom Ratcliffe penalty. For today game Lee Douglas makes five personnel and two positional change from the side defeated at Bridlington; Tom Harrison starts at fullback with Graeme Jeffrey moving to the wing, Jan Teiber comes in for Billy Parker who drops to the bench, Mark Hopper replaces Ian Williams as hooker, Mikey Readman starts in the second row for injured skipper Phil Watson and Matthew Else is at No8 with Charlie Hoggard moving to blindside. Billy Parker is joined on the bench by Ryan Pickering and Blake Nightingale. Hopefully we’ll have a good turnout this afternoon with plenty of vocal encouragement for the team and an absence of the referee-baiting so prevalent at Dukes Park last week.

Last Saturday’s game at Dukes Park was a bruising affair and as usual I wrote my report with the game vividly in my very recent memory and was shocked as I recalled our lack of physical commitment. My report emphasised this but on reflection I think I was perhaps harsh in my judgement.  Scarborough have had a reputation as a ‘soft touch’ over the years, undeservedly I think but we certainly appear to have mental hang-ups about some games and Bridlington away from home is one of them. I don’t know how to get round negative mindset; sports physiology perhaps? The one thing I do know is that teams don’t hit the paddock to lose and as I stated in a TWEET on Thursday, we may pay £5 for the privilege of watching, but they ARE all amateurs and play the game for fun which we sometimes forget.

A big bonus for Lee Douglas is the return to action of the redoubtable Matty Else this afternoon. The big dairy farmer was down to return to action for the Vikings against Hull last week before the Humbersiders disgracefully let us down late last Friday evening. He always adds a physical edge to any side he turns out for and I’ve no doubt he’ll enjoy himself in what promises to be a cracking game against the Yorkshire One leaders.

Young Joe Lenton drops down to the Vikings this afternoon following three very promising games with the first fifteen, he has impressed with his skill and commitment and hopefully it won’t be very long until he’s back in Yorkshire League action. 




Scarborough stutter to dismal defeat at Dukes Park

13 Jan

Paul Taylor and Matty Oxtoby stop a Bridlington attack



Bridlington 22  Scarborough  10 

By Dave Campbell 

Referee: Mr J. Saunders (Yorkshire society) 

Scarborough lost the toss and had to play the first half of this local derby at Dukes Park with the bright winter sunshine in their eyes and consequently struggled with Bridlington’s aerial bombardment throughout the first forty minutes of the game. 

Playing with Tom Ratcliffe at fly-half and returning New Zealander Harry Domett on the right wing, the Seasiders made a positive start to the game and spent the opening seven or eight minutes deep in Bridlington territory. During this period some slick handling and free running in the backs augured well for the game to come. However although missing fullback Sizwe Zondo with a rib injury and having veteran fly-half Jamie Muru drafted in at fly-half, Bridlington looked no pushovers. 

A scampering run deep into Scarborough territory by Bridlington wing Gary Stevens had the visitors on the back foot but good cover tackling averted the danger. However when a penetrative run into the Scarborough 22 by centre Ryan Girking stretched the visitors’ defensive line, the ball was moved wide to Stevens who took advantage of the overlap to romp into the corner.  Steve Mellonby drafted in at fullback kicked the touchline conversion with aplomb for a 7-0 lead in the 13th minute. 

Bridlington had barely a minute to enjoy their lead before Scarborough struck back, Ratcliffe reducing the arrears to four points with a penalty. And in the 18th minute the visitors took the lead with a try straight out of the top drawer. A scrum in centre field just inside the home ten metre line saw the ball moved swiftly left for Ratcliffe to release Benjti Cottle hitting the line; a shimmy through the gap and the Kiwi centre powered over from 24 metres. Ratcliffe added the extras to nudge his side 10-7 ahead. 

Scarborough’s forwards who had performed well at the lineout and were embarrassing the home eight in the set scrums were reshuffled in the 20th minute with Ryan Pickering coming on for Paul Taylor. Although the lineout remained solid, the home front row seemed more comfortable against this front three and began to gain both parity and confidence. Scarborough then lost the services of skipper Phil Watson with a hand problem and he was replaced by Nick Ingham in the second row. A Steve Mellonby penalty in the 22nd minute levelled the scores at 10-10. 

The Seasiders appeared to have lost their early impetus and were most definitely getting outmuscled by the Bridlington forwards particularly around the tackle area where they were coming off second best. Fly-half Muru, although now a very static number ten, used all his experience by hoisting some huge up-and-unders into the sun-facing visiting defenders who mostly coped but were under pressure from this ploy. 

Scarborough continued to look dangerous but a tendency in the forwards to do too much, saw slow or no ball getting out leaving a back-line champing at the bit and frustrated. And when the next try came it was to the home side. As the visiting defence were sorting themselves out to defend a penalty in their own 22, a quick tap and pass saw prop Ezra Luxton drive over from close range in the 36th minute. Mellonby slotted the simple conversion for a 17-10 lead they took to the break. 

Starting the second half with fourteen men, No8 Hoggard had been sin-binned just before halftime; Scarborough looked to use some of the high-ball tactics used by Bridlington in the first half but by now the sun was low in the sky and not directly in the home defenders eyes. However an excursion into the Bridlington half saw the home side infringe but Ratcliffe couldn’t oblige, pulling his kick to the right of the posts in the 44th minute. 

Scarborough were making the running but were bullied at the breakdown by a totally committed Bridlington side. A series of rucks in front of raucous crowd in the stand produced three yellow cards in five minutes with a couple of Brid players sin-binned for use of the boot and Scarborough prop Taylor also sent to cool his heals in the bin. However despite their bustle the visitors were constantly second best to a limited but aggressive home side.  A team can have all the ability and talent in the world but there are some ‘muck and nettles’ games where they really have to front up. 

Trailing by only a single score and a quarter of the game still to go there was no reason why Scarborough couldn’t have fought back to win the game. Somehow it didn’t look as if it would happen. A searing break by fullback Graeme Jeffrey took the Seasiders into the home 22 in the closing stages and an offload would surely have sent young wing Joe Lenton over; however it never came. 

Mellonby should have put the game beyond Scarborough with three uncharacteristic penalty misses in 68th, 72nd and 75th minutes. The game ended in farce as a wayward clearance from outside his 22 from Muru was sailing directly into touch; scrum half Zybnec Schutz jumped and knocked the ball into play for Jeffrey but his tap back went straight to Brid left wing Ryan Kerr who scampered away to touchdown his ‘gift’. Mellonby missed the conversion and Mr Saunders blew up to put Scarborough’s players and supporters out of their misery. 

A deeply disappointing afternoon saw Scarborough concede far too many penalties and turn up with the wrong mindset for this game.  They played this derby  with a lack of conviction and their lack of appetite for the physical side of the game was alarming.  The Seasiders failed to ‘man up’ to a Bridlington side ‘up’ for a full blooded local derby and apart from a thrilling try early in the proceedings, were once again second best in a derby match at Dukes Park.

Scarborough: Jeffrey Lenton Cottle Parker Domett Ratcliffe Schutz Cutino Williams Taylor Oxtoby Watson (capt) Purdy Nightingale Hoggard. Substitutes: Pickering Ingham Stewart 

Bridlington: Mellonby Stevens Martin Girking Kerr Muru Robinson Luxton Freeman Dixon Edmond Murray Thomson Sutton (capt) Risdale Substitutes: Daka Sanderson Terewi 





SCARBOROUGH: TRY: Cottle GOALS : Ratcliff – one conversion and one penalty.

BRIDLINGTON TRIES:  Stevens Luxton Kerr GOALS: Mellonby – penalty, 2            


Scarborough slide to 22-10 local derby defeat at Bridlington

11 Jan



Scarborough turned in a decidedly lack-lustre performance at Bridlington in Yorkshire One this afternoon. Although they fell behind to an early try, they bounced back to score a terrific touchdown through Benji Cottle converted by stand-in fly-half Tom Ratcliffe who added a penalty for a 10-7 lead. However the Seasiders flattered to deceive and having trailed 10-17 at the break  were beaten by a Bridlington fifteen really up for the game. A big travelling support were left disappointed and frustrated by their side’s performance ahead of next week’s visit to Silver Royd by league leaders Ilkley.

Sir Ian McGeechan to visit Silver Royd for Roses Clashes

10 Jan

2014-01-10 GEECH AT SRUFC

Sir Ian McGeechan has been confirmed as one of the guests at the County clashes at Silver Royd this year.   Sir Ian, who played and coached Scotland and the British Lions and was Yorkshire’s most capped player will be joining Scarborough Rugby Club’s many guests in the Hospitality Tent to say a few words prior to the pre-match lunch.

Dave Campbell’s on-line column – Bridlington (away)

9 Jan



Last week Coach Lee Douglas’ men started the new year with a narrow but deserved win over a well organized Heath side coached by ex-Rotherham star Kevin Plant who spent several seasons at the top of English rugby. They outplayed the south Yorkshiremen for over an hour of the game but in the later stages, leading 19-6, they conceded a converted try and leading by only six points the game ended in nail biting fashion with a 19-13 victory. The set pieces went well after a shaky start but a lack of penetration and composure once again saw their entire possession and control produce only one try. Craig Farrell limped off at halftime with a hamstring tweak on his return to league action and never really got a chance to bed in with Benji Cottle in the centre. However it was the club’s ninth win of the season and completed the double over Heath. Worth a mention was the fact that Tom Ratcliffe scored all of Scarborough’s points in the 18-11 win at Heath and in the game last Saturday.

This Saturday we travel south along the coast for this season’s third local derby with Bridlington. The men from Dukes Park made a very poor start to the season winning only one of their opening eight league games but have rallied lately winning two of their last five, both at home. Last week they were given a fright by bottom club Acklam but came through 31-16 and on the 7th of December beat Old Brodlieans 26-17. A recent rib injury to star fullback Sizwe Zondo has hampered their progress and it’s not known if he’ll be available on Saturday. Last week the oft-retired veteran Jamie Muru played, so it appears they are struggling for numbers. Skipper Phil Watson’s men played Brid three times in 2013, all at Silver Royd, winning 13-0 in January, then 16-3 in late September and 9-8 in a closely-contested game in the Yorkshire Shield. On their last visit to Dukes Park in September 2012 the Seasiders were on the wrong end of a 22-17 scoreline; having conceded an interception then a penalty try early in the game, tries by Graeme Jeffrey and Tom Racliffe got them back into contention but the home side held on for a valuable win. Craig Farrell misses Saturday’s action with his hamstring injury and the reliable Billy Parker deputizes. Joe Lenton, who made an impressive league debut last week continues on the left wing whilst Tom Ratcliffe moves to fly-half to replace Tom Harrison who has been carrying a quadricep injury, Zbnyec Zchutz is at scrum-half and Harry Domett returns from New Zealand to play on the right wing (see below). Up front, Nino Cutino returns from South Africa to start in the front row whilst Phil Watson skippers the side from the engine room. Tom Harrison, Ryan Pickering and Nick Ingham are on the bench.

 In other senior rugby a strong Vikings lineup which includes Jan Teiber, Mikey Readman, Phil Stewart, Matt Lucas, Mark Hopper and the returning Matthew Else entertain Hull at Silver Royd. Last week the Silver Royd second string thrashed Hull Ionians 46-17 at Silver Royd, their tenth win of the season. Also in action are the Danesmen who are also at home and entertain Humberside outfit Ridings Vikings. All games kick off at 2.15pm.



Harry Domett, who joined the club with compatriot Louis Karl from New Zealand in September 2010 returned to Scarborough last week and having trained plays on the wing at Dukes Park on Saturday. Harry broke an ankle early in his time at Silver Royd but bounced back and scored many valuable tries for the club. Harry and his fiancé who is a local girl left for New Zealand in summer 2012 but both have now returned to the area. I’m really looking forward to seeing him play with countryman Benji Cottle in what is an exciting Scarborough back division. Welcome back Harry!





And finally, I was looking through my personal archive of photographs for the Scarborough News and whilst looking at some pictures taken at a Brid-Scarborough game in 2011, I noticed a character very, very well known to me on the touchline. It was my oldest and best friend Gerry O’Prey who sadly died on the 28th of March 2012. I met Gerry when we both were serving in the RAF in Cyprus in 1963 and we travelled the world together in our subsequent employment and our families and extended families became great friends. He was a passionate Scarborough Rugby supporter and I’m sure that over the years he visited just about every club in Yorkshire and then some. A familiar character at the club and in town, his club mates still miss him, particularly me. 


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