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

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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. 

JOE LENTON

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