Archive | February, 2014


28 Feb




Old Brodleians are Scarborough’s opponents at Silver Royd tomorrow and I sincerely hope anyone who travels with them has a better afternoon than I had when I travelled to Hipperholme for the corresponding game back in early November. Playing down the slope and with a gale behind them Brods led 22-0 at half-time and with fullback Tom Ratcliffe off injured, prospects didn’t look to good for Scarborough in the second forty minutes. However with the elements behind them they produced the fight back of the season which was completed when centre Benji Cottle scored in injury time near the corner flag for a 23-22 victory. According to the home support and the Brods players the ball had been dropped in the act of scoring but standing directly behind the posts taking photographs at the bottom of the ground with driving rain in my face, I was completely unsighted; however referee John Wolstenholme awarded a try. Scarborough touch-judge Tim Elliott was immediately surrounded and berated by Brods players for not intervening with the referee and when I pointed out that what they were asking him to do was beyond his remit, I was subjected to a torrent of abuse. I’ve got a thick skin but some of it was beyond the pale including the use of the F word, the C word and a string of racial and personal insults. I wasn’t too bothered but when the game finished I was subjected to further abuse of the same obscene nature by club members and staff as they returned to the clubhouse. I have covered rugby in our fair county for 35 years and love a bit of banter but my treatment on that day reflected badly on our game and Old Brodleians rugby club.

From The Touchline – Dave Campbell’s on-line blog – Old Brods at Home

28 Feb




This season you have no doubt noticed a plethora of superb Scarborough RUFC rugby photographs in the local paper, on the club and this website and in the club programme all credited to Andy Standing. Having been quizzed at the club as to the identity of the prolific snapper, I can reveal that he is a keen and accomplished local amateur photographer who has covered several sports in recent years. A passionate football fan he started taking photographs as a hobby during Scarborough Town’s first season 5/6 years ago. With the demise of Town he turned his attentions to Scarborough RUFC where he has been a regular visitor over the years being the son-in-law of George Anderson a prominent resident of ‘Spooks Corner.’ Andy has done a terrific job so far, travelling as far as Dinnington in the south and Settle in the north and with me out of action lately due to yet another toe amputation; he supplied notes and photographs enabling me to produce reports on both games thus keeping the club in the limelight. 



A largely forgettable game at North Ribblesdale between two average mid-table sides last week saw Scarborough slide to their fourth consecutive defeat on the wrong end of a 9-3 scoreline. Scarborough were, I suppose at a distinct disadvantage following four hours on the road and a late start; up front the scrums and line-outs were not particularly problematic although talismanic back row Matthew Else was a late withdrawal due to illness and substitute Rob Sutton started for skipper Phil Watson who only made it to the ground after kick-off.  Even given the conditions, a very useful back division (on paper) just failed to fire and lacked composure and penetration. Apart from the defeat of Heath in the first game of year, 2014 has so far, been desperately disappointing for Coach Lee Douglas, his players and the Silver Royd faithful. And to be honest, but for a run of good results at the start of the season, they would be fighting for their Yorkshire One survival now. For Saturday’s visit of Old Brods, Graeme Jeffrey returns from injury and plays on the left wing, Phil Stewart comes in at fly-half with Tom Ratcliffe moving to fullback. Harry Domett plays on the right wing. Up front Matty Else, plays at No8 with skipper Phil Watson in the engineroom. Last week ‘Brods’ surprisingly put Selby to the sword with a 41-15 romp at Hipperholme, however they have been unsuccessful on the road lately losing their last four, including a surprise 20-9 defeat at second bottom club Keighley. 

Scarborough’s dismal run continues with defeat at North Ribblesdale

24 Feb





Scarborough’s recent run of poor league form stretched to five consecutive defeats with a hugely disappointing 9-3 reverse at North Ribblesdale yesterday. An uninspiring encounter at a soggy Grove Park failed to produce a single try in eighty minutes of rugby and a losing bonus point was the Seasiders only reward for their almost 200 mile round trip to Settle.

An accident on the A59 delayed the Scarborough players causing a late kick-off and back row Chris Purdy skippered the side in place of Phil Watson who arrived after the start. An early exchange of penalties between North Ribblesdale’s Steve Moon and Scarborough fly-half Tom Ratcliffe saw the sides tied at 3-3 for most of the first half. Both sides went close but the only other first half score came when Moon kicked a penalty on the stroke of halftime for a 6-3 lead. The second half was a turgid affair equally bereft of tries before Moon kicked a late penalty to secure a 9-3 home win.

This was a largely forgettable game between two average mid-table sides but to be fair the conditions were pretty dire following weeks of heavy rain. Scarborough were, I suppose at a distinct disadvantage following four hours on the road and a late start; up front the scrums and line-outs were not particularly problematic although talismanic back row Matthew Else was a late withdrawal due to illness and substitute Rob Sutton started for skipper Phil Watson. Even given the conditions, a very useful back division (on paper) just failed to fire and lacked composure and penetration. Apart from the defeat of Heath in the first game of year, 2014 has so far, been desperately disappointing for Coach Lee Douglas, his players and the Silver Royd faithful.

See my full report now on the Scarborough News website and on Thursday in the print edition of the Scarborough News.




14 Feb

Having lost their last four league games, Scarborough travel to Settle tomorrow to take on North Ribblesdale looking to end that run of poor results. Last week the Seasiders went down 18-28 to Selby despite turning in a reasonable performance and may fancy themselves against a side which has been inconsistent on their own patch, winning four and losing five at their Grove Park HQ this season. Last week they went down 24-5 at home to league leaders Dinnington. In the corresponding game at Silver Royd earlier in the season Scarborough and North Ribblesdale fought out a thrilling 21-21 draw, Coach Lee Douglas’ charges grabbing a point with an injury-time penalty. Tomorrow the backs are the same formation as last week with ex-rugby league star Craig Farrell in the centre. However Douglas tries a new back row combination of Matty Else at Blindside, Blake Nightingale at open side and skipper Phil Watson at No8.


10 Feb



As I rapidly approach my seventieth birthday and have been struggling with several physical ailments over the last few years, I’ve been re-assessing my long association with rugby union, particularly at Scarborough RUFC. Since coming to the town from Hong Kong in 1978 I have been a supporter, committee man, PRO and match reporter for the club. At the start I spent a long period of time chronicling the club’s activities on the field and in a particularly lean period which covered two seasons in the mid-eighties, travelled the length and breadth of our fair county and never saw my heroes, who included the likes of Colin Rennard, Martin Reed, Josh Stewart, Tim Elliott, Rich Pygas and skipper Bob (Chis) Chisholm to mention but a few, win a single game away from Newby. An upsurge of form, saw the club win promotion to Yorkshire One from Two, where we had languished since relegation in our first league season in 1987 and under player coach Grant Lenton we made the final of the Shield for the first time since Pontius was a Pilot; at the end of the last century we also reached the semi-final of the National knockout Shield at Billericay where we lost narrowly. Since then success under coach Dave Beck saw us return to Yorkshire One early in this century (can’t remember the year) and we’ve been there since. The arrival of Kiwi Marcus Edwards around 2000 saw us play perhaps the best rugby in our history and for the first time early in the 2000’s we gained promotion to North One. The retirement of players such as Rob Bell, Peter Woolley, Carl Holdsworth, Andy Holloway and Phil Barker severely impacted on our efforts at level Six the following year and we  were relegated;  and but for the efforts of Dave Beck we would have slipped down to Yorkshire Two. Since then we have been an average Yorkshire One mid-table side and our move to our present home at the brilliant Silver Royd complex hasn’t impacted on that. Following a good start to this season under Coach Lee Douglas where we lost only one of our ten opening games, things have slipped and we have lost all four of our last league outings. However we have progressed to the semi-final of the Yorkshire Challenge Shield at Selby in two weeks time. I did think I was losing interest in the game but reflecting on my post HAVE I HAD ENOUGH? and
as I rewrite this ahead of a toe amputation tomorrow morning which will leave me toeless on one foot, I realise I love the game as much as I ever did but my ardour was dampened by poor health for a while. So I look forward to getting my second breath following this hiatus and coming back for more in the not too distant future. I’m not really sure what I’ll be able to do going forward but I certainly want to continue my long association with our club.


10 Feb






10 Feb




Scarborough: 18  Selby: 28 

By Dave Campbell 

Referee Mr Dave Lindsey                                                                  Attendance 275


Scarborough slid to their fourth consecutive league defeat at a damp, draughty and sparsely populated Silver Royd; however at times they produced some good rugby in a hard-fought encounter with a Selby side which just had the edge on the day. 

Scarborough kicked off in almost identical weather conditions as last week, winning the toss and taking advantage of the stiff southerly wind blowing down the paddock. And fly-half Tom Ratcliffe’s howitzer-like boot was soon pinning the visitors deep in their own territory with a series of massive line kicks. 

Harnessing the elements Scarborough used their kicking game to keep them deep in Selby territory where they won a series of lineouts; however their inability to win vital first-phase possession from this particular set piece saw them fail to take advantage of their territorial possession. 

Returning centre Craig Farrell used his strength and experience to master the soggy underfoot conditions to pressure the visiting defence with a series of bullocking breaks, one of which took him into the 22 where the visitors infringed after the tackle and Ratcliffe kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead in the 8th minute. Scarboroughwere bossing the set scrums at this stage and when Selby infringed when the home eight struck against the head, Ratcliffe made it 6-0 with the resulting penalty in the 14th minute. 

Unlike last week when Durham/Northumberland One side Guisborough struggled mightily against the elements, a well organized Selby moved the ball well using the wind to hold up their short mid-field passes. And when Scarborough infringed on their own 22 fullback Josh Cruise kicked the penalty from in front of the posts to reduce the arrears to three points in the 17th minute. 

Although both sides coped well, handling was difficult in the conditions and for most of the time running rugby was not an option. Ratcliffe had a chance to stretch the home lead in the 24th minute when Selby were pinged for not releasing but the difficult wide penalty slid across the face of the posts. The lead was extended three minutes later when a Scarborough scrum marched their opponents back to their line and scrum-half Zybnec Schutz powered over. Ratcliffe added the extras for 13-3. 

Shocked into action, Selby re-doubled their efforts and put together several good handling moves with rangy fly-half Dan Porter his halfback partner Neil Francis and centre Teihana Brown in the thick of it. It was all hands to the pumps for the Seasiders with Farrell, Joe Lenton and Matty Else and his busy back row colleagues heavily involved. Something had to give and when a Scarborough player crept offside in front of the posts Cruise reduced the arrears at 13-6 with the penalty in the 34th minute. 

The visitors continued to press and when a massive clearing kick by Ratcliffe went dead at the other end, Selby had a scrum on the Scarborough 22. From the ensuing play fly-half Porter almost made it to the line and when the ball was recycled it was moved wide to left wing Charlton McCoy who strode over in the 40th minute. Cruise couldn’t  make the difficult conversion and Scarborough led 13-11 at the break. 

A turnover saw Scarborough press from early in the second half and only solid Selby defence and a lack of composure prevented a score. However, having weathered the storm the visitors came back and only a great tackle by Ratcliffe stopped inside centre Alex Arthur from scoring. With the wind behind him a clearance from Porter gained his side good field position in the Scarborough half. From a subsequent lineout the ball was moved infield and the big number ten released flanker Sam Cruise to crash over in the 51st minute. Brother Josh added the conversion for Selby to lead for the first time in the gate at 18-13. 

The cracking pace continued with skipper Phil Watson’s men looking to get back into the game and breaks from stand-in full-back Harry Domett, centre Benji Cottle and the irrepressible Craig Farrell pressured a Selby side which never found things plain sailing with the wind behind them.  But when the equalizing try came it was through the forwards, No8 Else powering over following a catch-and-drive in the 59th minute. Ratcliffe failed to convert from the touchline and into the wind and the teams stood at 18 apiece 

Equality for the Seasiders was however short lived and when a Selby chip through was fumbled on the line by Schutz, Brown was on hand to score a very soft try. Josh Cruise struck his touchline conversion beautifully for a 25-18 lead in the 63rd minute.


In a thrilling fourth quarter as Scarborough once more strove for an equalizing try, breaks by Cottle, Nightingale, Farrell and Ratcliffe just couldn’t  produce a score, whilst at the other end wing Ben Hunt went close for Selby. Josh Cruise settled the matter in the visitors favour with three minutes to with a well struck penalty to stretch their lead to 28-10. 

Scarborough played their full part in a game played in very difficult conditions with Ryan Pickering, Phil Watson and Matty Else pick of the forwards. Behind them Farrell, Ratcliffe and Domett shone in the backs. 

SCARBOROUGH: Domett Teiber Cottle Farrell Lenton Ratcliffe Schutz Goodman Hopper Cutino Watson (capt) Readman Purdy Hoggard Else SUBSTITUTES: Pickering Nightingale Lucas 

SELBY: J. Cruise Hunt Brown Arthur McCoy Porter Francis Pocklington Hardy Bell Cobbley Wood Robins S.Cruise RI Brown.


From the Touchline with Dave Campbell – Selby and SIX NATIONS roundup

7 Feb





Last Saturday’s Shield quarter-final win over Durham/Northumberland high-flyers Guisborough was a ‘game of two halves’ with a gale-force southerly wind blowing down the Silver Royd paddock all afternoon. Having won the toss, Phil Watson’s men made good use of the elements with first half tries from Charlie Hoggard, Tom Ratcliffe and Paul Taylor and led 17-0 at the break; the visitors failed to breach a resolute home defence in the second half, reinforcing the impression created by Acklam’s showing in Yorkshire One this season that there is quite a gulf between the Yorkshire and Durham/Northumberland leagues. That’s not to say that the Guisborough lads never gave it their all but having scored four or more tries in 14 of their 20 games in all competitions this season they had neither the guile or composure with the elements totally in their favour for forty minutes, to get over the whitewash against a mid-table Yorkshire One side.  


I was surprised when I got my copy of yesterday’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS and read in what appeared to be a re-jigged opening paragraph to my report that the ‘away team’ had scored three first half tries. If you read the report in the paper’s on-line edition, the Scarborough RUFC website or here on you will see that there was no mention of this at all. I’m told by my colleagues at the paper it was a printing error; thank goodness, I thought I really WAS losing it!



Selby travel to Silver Royd tomorrow looking to continue the fine form which has seen them lose only one of their last nine games; they have been a force to be reckoned with since their return to Yorkshire One and have scored four or more tries in 50% of their league games so far this season. Their last league outing was a rare 0-0 home draw with Ilkey in a game marred by the atrocious weather conditions that prevailed that afternoon all over the county. They returned to try-scoring form a few days later when they progressed to a home Yorkshire Shield semi-final with Scarborough winning 34-24 at York under floodlights.

Our unbeaten eight game run at the start of the season came to an end with defeat at Selby on the 19th of October last year. A convincing first-half performance saw Scarborough lead 20-6 at the break thanks to tries from Benji Cottle and Zybnec Schutz.  However, a great second-half comeback by Selby which included tries from Alex Hare and Teihana Brown was completed when fly-half Josh Cruise kicked a penalty four minutes from time to grab the points with a 22-20 win.



Club stalwart Graeme Jeffrey sustained a nasty knee injury last week and with Tom Harrison still injured, Harry Domett takes his place at fullback tomorrow. It may be indicative of the way Coach Lee Douglas will approach the game as he plays Jan Teiber and young Joe Lenton on the wings  neither of whom has troubled the scoreboard operator this season; will he look to keep things tight? Paul Taylor, who sustained a rib injury last week, is missing from the front row and Tommy Goodman comes in. Matty Oxtoby was also injured last week and Mikey Readman returns. Ryan Pickering, Matt Lucas and Blake Nightingale are on the bench.






Following last week’s Shield game at Silver Royd I repaired to the J.M.Guthrie for the France-England game on TV; as I was keen to get on with writing my report on the Guisborough game I left the clubhouse with England trailing 8-16 in the game. I stopped off at a shop on the way and by the time I got home Stuart Lancaster’s men had fought back and were 21-16 ahead. An exchange of penalties saw England 24-19 ahead at the death before Teenage centre Gael Fickou came off the bench to break England hearts with his late try for a thrilling 26-24 win. Was it injudicial substitutions or naive game management that let the game slip? Being a neutral I am content with having enjoyed a real thriller with a terrific try to settle the issue. England will have no such problems tomorrow against an embarrassingly (for a Scot) weak and physically feeble Scotland side which capitulated to the Irish in the second half last week and were well beaten 28-6. I have made many excuses for Scotland in the past; lack of a player base, fewer clubs than Yorkshire etc. The truth is that rugby has lost its way north of the border and 11 Six Nations wins in ten years tells its own story. Following that win, Ireland return to the AVIVA to take on champions Wales who scraped past Italy 23-15 in Cardiff last week; the men from the principality are notorious slow starters in the competition and I expect them to return to form for what should be a real battle royal in Dublin. Finally, Italy travel to the Stade de France on Sunday looking to repeat the shocks of last year when they beat ‘les blues’ 23-18 and Ireland 22-15 both in Rome. Their gritty performance against Wales indicates they’ll be no pushovers and I’m looking forward to the game. Home advantage to the mercurial French should be the difference between the sides. All of this weekend’s games can been seen at the J.M. Guthrie clubhouse on five big screens.

SCARBOROUGH 17 GUISBOROUGH 0 Original report by Dave Campbell

7 Feb




Yorkshire Challenge Shield – Quarter-final 

Scarborough: 17 Guisborough: 0 

By Dave Campbell

Referee Mr Chris Lunn                                                              


Scarborough started this Yorkshire Shield quarter-final against high-flying Durham/Northumberland One outfit Guisborough as underdogs but unlike last week at Dinnington they won the toss and played with a bitterly cold gale force southerly wind behind them and used this advantage to run in three first half tries and set up a memorable victory. 

Guisborough made a lively start through their forwards and wisely chose to keep the ball in hand against the wind as they drove deep into home territory. Scarborough gave away a string of penalties in mid-field and at a catch-and-drive from a lineout in the home 22 the visitors drove to the line only for the Scarborough defence to rip the ball from the maul;  a massive clearance by fly-half Tom Ratcliffe took play to mid-way in the visitors half. 

Guisborough’s pack struggled to cope with the home eight at a scrum on their own 22 and following a string of penalties for scrum infringements at which Scarborough choose the scrum option, flanker Charlie Hoggard powered over in the 10th minute. Ratcliffe added the extras with an intelligent kick which used the wind to curve it in and Scarborough led 7-0.

With their tails up, Scarborough went straight back with Ratcliffe putting in some massive wind-assisted line kicks to take play deep into the visitors half. However when the next score came three minutes later it was from mid-way in the Scarborough half; a Guisborough move broke down and the ball was moved to Ratcliffe between his 22 and 10 metres line; the big fly-half galloped three-quarters the length of the field leaving despairing would-be tacklers in his wake to score Silver Royd’s try of the season. He failed to add the conversion but the Seasiders led 12-0. 

The visitors had to run from deep and were pinned back by the wind and their somewhat pedestrian mid-field which constantly telegraphed pop-passes with the recipient being gobbled up by a voracious Scarborough back row of Hoggard, Chris Purdy and the immense Matty Else who was everywhere. In front of them Paul Taylor, Nino Cutino and Mark Hopper were outstanding. Returning skipper Phil Watson and his engine-room partner Matty Oxtoby were also giving the side some great ‘go forward’ options. And it was no surprise when Cutino charged down a clearance following a lineout in the visitors 22 and Taylor drove over in the 18th minute for 17-0. Ratcliffe missed the conversion. 

The second quarter saw Scarborough camped in Guisborough territory for long periods but over elaboration and solid defence from the visitors prevented a fourth first half try materializing. The half ended with Guisborough spending time close to the home line but Scarborough’s destructive physical defence held sway and their line remained intact. 

With the advantage of the elements after the break Guisborough took the game to Scarborough and they laid siege to the home line with a series of catch-and-drives and looked to tap-and-go from penalties in the 22; however the Scarborough defence was absolutely magnificent and the Clevelanders just couldn’t get over the try line. A slick bit of handling wide right for the visitors appeared to have sent winger Johnny Wardell in at the corner but the ball was dropped over the line and the chance had gone. 

Scarborough did break out on occasions but a couple of clearance kicks from a crowded Ratcliffe were charged down and the visitors reapplied the pressure. A cross-field kick into the corner in the home 22 looked dangerous but ever-alert wingman Harry Domett dealt with it and the danger was averted. 

As the game went into its final quarter and the visitors tired, Scarborough came back as an attacking force and breaks from defence from centres Benji Cottle and Billy Parker took the game into the Guisborough 22. Jan Teiber on as a substitute on the wing also made ground and when he was stopped illegally, the resulting kick and catch-and-drive took the ball to the visitors’ line. Guisborough infringed in front of their posts but Scarborough chose to run the ball to no effect. Late pressure in the home 22 at the death was repulsed and Scarborough ran out deserved 17-0 winners of a hard-fought game in very difficult conditions. 

SCARBOROUGH: Jeffrey Domett Cottle Parker Lenton Ratcliffe Schutz Cutino Hopper Taylor Oxtoby Watson(capt) Purdy Hoggard Else SUBSTITUTES: Pickering Nightingale Goodman Teiber 

Guisborough:  Rusty Wardell J.Corcoran Hancock Suthers Clark Rose Larder Edwards Kime Lodge Henderson L.Corcoran Leggot Maca SUBSTITUTES Towers Lodge Hodgson Shields

Scarborough win Yorkshire Challenge Shield quarter-final at Silver Royd: brief summary. Full report tomorrow in the SCARBOROUGH NEWS on-line.

1 Feb




Scarborough took full advantage of the gale-force southerly wind running in three tries in the first half of the Shield quarter-final with  high-flying Guisborough who are title contenders in Durham/Northumberland One. The touchdowns came from Charlie Hoggard, an amazing solo effort starting in his own half by Tom Ratcliffe and Paul Taylor. The visitors failed to harness the elements to their advantage in the second half and a tremendous defensive effort from the Seasiders saw them to a convincing 17-0 victory. Full report in tomorrow’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS on-line.