Archive | March, 2014

Scarborough bounce back from home defeat last week to beat Wath 27-10 on the road.

30 Mar





Scarborough bounced back from last week’s home defeat by Pontefract with an outstanding performance at Wath yesterday. Smarting from last week’s 14-3 defeat at the hands of Yorkshire One’s third bottom side, the Seasiders came out of the traps with all guns blazing to blow away Wath with a couple of spectacular first half tries. The first which surely will turn out to be the try of the season, was started by fullback Tom Harrison from behind his own line and scored at the other end by the same man, having involved Benji Cottle and Joe Marshall.  The second was a great effort from the quick thinking Graeme Jeffrey. A first try for the club from centre Jan Teiber clinched the points late in the game with Harrison bringing his points tally to 17 with two penalties and three conversions. A full report follows later today in the Scarborough News on-line and in Thursday’s print edition.



Can Scarborough bounce back at Wath today?

29 Mar



I’m writing this column a bit later than usual this week on the morning of Scarborough’s game at Wath-upon-Dearne.  Following surgery a month or so ago, I’m able to drive locally but distance is impossible so Scarborough’s rugby photographer supreme Andy Standing is taking me down to south Yorkshire this afternoon.  And the visitors will be looking for a vast improvement on last week’s woeful performance against strugglers Pontefract at Silver Royd when the west Yorkshiremen fully deserved their 14-3 victory in wintry conditions. The Seasiders had five changes from the side that beat Selby 36-33 to reach the final of the Yorkshire Shield the previous week but that was no excuse for a less than spirited performance. For today’s game Graeme Jeffrey starts on the wing whilst in the forwards Blake Nightingale and Matty Oxtoby come into the back row with Charlie Hoggard at lock and Tommy Goodman starting in the front row. Veteran prop Tom Fish, Mikey Readman and Joe Marshall are on the bench. In the corresponding fixture at Silver Royd, Wath ran out 16-8 winners of a close-fought game with fly-half Andy Appleyard being their man of the match. Blake Nightingale scored Scarborough’s only try in the first half of the game. Coming into today’s game the south Yorkshiremen have had mixed fortunes in their previous two, going down to a heavy 34-15 defeat at North Ribblesdale and last week beating third placed Doncaster Phoenix 17-12 at home. The form book favours the home side this afternoon; however can Scarborough, still smarting from the criticism which followed last week’s game, bounce back and surprise Wath as they did with a much-reshuffled side last season at Moor Road where an injury time Nino Cutino try snatched an unexpected but deserved 22-18 win? 

Elsewhere, the ‘match of the day’ in Yorkshire One will be second-placed Ilkley’s game at league-leaders Dinnington which should be a cracker, Locally, the Vikings travel to Driffield whilst the Danesmen entertain Driffield at Silver Royd; kick-off 3pm.

Woeful Scarborough produce their worse display for many seasons at Silver Royd

22 Mar

Following last week’s thriller at Selby, Scarborough turned in a lifeless hangover of a performance sliding to a timid 14-3 defeat by Yorkshire One strugglers Pontefact in wintery conditions at Silver Royd. Without the services of fullback Tom Ratcliffe, talismanic centre Craig Farrell and flankers Chris Purdy and Blake Nightingale;  all injured. The  rudderless and disjointed Seasiders succumbed to a try in either half by the west Yorkshiremen; their only score coming from a first half Tom Harrison penalty. Full report in tomorrow’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS on-Line and in Thursday’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS print edition.



Cottle and Ratcliffe lead the way in Scarborough scoring statistics

22 Mar



Kiwi centre Benji Cottle has made a big impression from the start, scoring a try in his first game for the club in the 17-10 win at Keighley. He had a nine match lean period at the turn of the year but got back among the tries in the last couple of games with one at Doncaster Phoenix and a brace at Selby last week to take his total to fifteen. With drier, firmer pitches Benji will look to add to his tally by the end of the season.



After a slow start in the try scoring department popular utility player Tom Ratcliffe has been getting among the tries lately and up to and including last week’s win at Selby had run in 12 touchdowns. The former college rugby league star has also kicked 26 conversion and 37 penalties to bring his points tally for the season to an impressive 223.




Also amongst the tries are Nino Cutino with 5 and Graeme Jeffrey with 4. On 3 touchdowns are Mikey Readman, Chris Purdy, Blake Nightingale and scrum-half Zybnec (spinners) Schutz. On 2 are skipper Phil Watson, Paul Taylor, Matty Else, Harry Domett and Craig Farrell. Back five utility player Charlie Hoggard, Alex Renwick, Matt Lucas and Tom Harrison bagged one apiece with Harrison who has been plagued by injury this year adding 5 conversions and 7 penalties for a total of 36 points. There was also a penalty try at Selby last week.

From The Touchline by Dave Campbell on-line – Pontefract home

21 Mar




I think most of us who made the journey to Selby last weekend are still recovering from the heart-stopping last twenty minutes of what was an absolute cracker of a Yorkshire Shield Semi-final. Four second half tries from Selby as they fought back from a 31-7 Scarborough lead after 45 minutes of the game, took most of the Scarborough contingent back to the league encounter between the clubs at the same venue back in November when the home side fought back from a 20-6 deficit at halftime to clinch the game 22-20 at the death. No8 Mark Protheroe had been troubling the Scarborough defence all afternoon and not for the first time went on a bullocking run up the Selby left flank with his side trailing 19-36 and 71 minutes of the game gone; he appeared to almost everyone watching including referee Mr Gorgde, to have stepped into touch in the act of offloading to winger Ben Lunt who touched down. The official was unsighted and consulted Scarborough’s Dave Coates who was running touch. Dave had no hesitation in informing Mr Gorgde that Protheroe had got his pass away before being bundled into touch and the try was duly given. Inexplicably, another 13 minutes were added at the end of the eighty in which time Selby had pulled back another seven points and Scarborough won a remarkable game by three points at 36-33.  When I think of the absolute mayhem that followed the awarding of a winning Scarborough ‘try’ at another venue earlier in the season and the vilification of the Scarborough touch judge at the game and later on the Yorkshire Rugby Forum; it was gratifying and refreshing to see how Dave’s correct decision (against his own club) was received with magnanimity by our players in the game and our supporters on the internet.




Following last week’s Shield thriller it’s back to league action tomorrow with the visit of Pontefract who won the corresponding fixture 15-10 at Moor Lane back in November. They had a memorable 25-24 win over Old Brods on their last league outing two weeks ago, ending a six game run of defeats and getting revenge for a heavy defeat at Hipperholme earlier in the season.  Last week’s 93 minutes of action at Selby has taken its toll with Tom Ratcliffe (knee), Chris Purdy and Blake Nightingale (both shoulder) missing tomorrow’s action through injury.  Tom Harrison steps in for Tom Ratcliffe at fullback whilst Nick Ingham and Charlie Hoggard play in the back row. Joe Marshall completes his journey through the ranks and makes his first team debut on the wing with Graeme Jeffrey Joining Tommy Goodman and Matty Oxtoby on the bench.



Clubs in the lower tiers of English rugby (Scarborough play at level 7) have hit back at the Rugby Football Union (RFU) with a threat of legal action over plans to restructure the League system below the AVIVA Premiership (level 1) and the RFU championship (level 2).  Proposals include reducing National League One (level 3) from 16 to 14 clubs, with three clubs relegated instead of two, the creation of a new Level 4 and 5 with four and eight regionalised 12-team leagues respectively, all using play-offs to decide which club is promoted. And it looks as if things will also be further change at Level Six (the league above Yorkshire One) and from Level 7 downwards. Apparently the league sizes will drop from 14 to 12 teams with possibly a play-off for promotion in all leagues as in levels 3, 4, 5 and 6. Apparently there was wide ranging consultation with clubs but this doesn’t seem to be the case and if the RFU goes ahead legal action will follow. I know that no one at Scarborough is in favour of the change. For the present I won’t follow up on this story as the sports media will be all over it. But no doubt I’ll return to it in the not too distant future.


Scarborough reach Shield final following amazing semi-final at Selby

16 Mar





Resurgent Scarborough and Selby shared ten tries in a pulsating Yorkshire Challenge Shield semi-final at Sandhill Lane yesterday. The Seasiders raced to a 24-7 halftime lead scoring three memorable tries through Harry Domett, Phil Watson and Benji Cottle in the process. They scored two second half tries themselves but Selby came back and ran in four and came agonisingly close to snatching victory before going down 36-33.  Ilkley won the other semi-final with an uninspiring 14-0 victory over Yorkshire Two strugglers West Leeds. York is the likely venue for the final which could be played at the end of the league season in the last couple of weeks in April.


From The Touchline by Dave Campbell on-line – Yorkshire Shield semi-final at Selby

14 Mar




Having ended a long win-less drought with last week’s thrilling 22-19 league win at Doncaster Phoenix, Scarborough will travel down the A64/19 for tomorrow’s Yorkshire Challenge Shield semi-final in high spirits. Coach Lee Douglas’ charges pulled off a memorable victory with a committed performance with ‘try-magnet’ Tom Ratcliffe grabbing a brace and adding a further seven points with the boot. Benji Cottle scored the visitor’s other try from a Ratcliffe break and offload. The Seasiders came from behind three times in the game and a ‘steal’ by Mikey Readman at an attacking Phoenix lineout deep in injury time wrapped the game up. Craig Farrell limped off in the first half with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury but is selected for duty at Selby’s Sandhill Road HQ tomorrow. Blake Nightingale returns from injury in the back row and is the only change from last week’s starting line-up. Tommy Goodman, Charlie Hoggard, Nick Ingham and Tom Harrison who returns from injury are on the bench.

Although Selby are fourth in Yorkshire One and have done the double over Scarborough this season, they have conceded a shed load of points recently; losing 41-15 at Old Brods, beating strugglers Pontefract 39-31 at home and going down 39-15 at York last week. I don’t know what is behind their poor defensive showing lately but their recent porous defending should give Phil Watson and company hope. Coached by Grant Lenton, father of Joe, Scarborough last reached the final of the Yorkshire Shield in 2001 when they lost in the final to Sheffield Tigers at Hull Ionians’ Brantingham Park ground. Tigers were runners up to Champions Scarborough in Yorkshire Two that season after we had done the double over them in the league. Could that be an omen for tomorrow? I certainly hope so and after recent health issues I’ll be at Selby tomorrow to cheer Phil Watson and the team on.

Scarborough end losing streak with win at Doncaster

8 Mar

Tom Ratcliffe scores PICTURE ANDY STANDING

Scarborough ended a six match losing streak beating Doncaster Phoenix 22-19 on the Road this afternoon. Tries from fullback Tom Ratcliffe (2) and centre Benji Cottle and 12 points from Ratcliffe’s boot sealed the win. Full report in tomorrow’s SCARBOROUGH NEWS ON-LINE and in Thursday’s print edition.

From The Touchline by Dave Campbell on-line – Doncaster Phoenix away

7 Mar




Scarborough travel south to Doncaster tomorrow trying to get their league season back on track. Only bottom club Acklam have a poorer league record this year having failed to record a single victory in 2014. The men from Silver Royd won the opening game of the year against Heath but since have lost six consecutive league games including last week’s 20-22 defeat by Old Brodleians at home. Except for a 34-7 thrashing at league-leaders Dinnington all of the other games have been close but it appears that skipper Phil Watson’s charges have got themselves into a losing habit which if they don’t get out of, dooms what was a promising campaign at the start, to relative failure. One of the highlights of that promising start was the defeat of high-flying Doncaster Phoenix in early November; Zybnec Schutz, Benji Cottle and Paul Taylor all crossed the whitewash and the game was tied at 23-23 in the 72nd minute; Tom Harrison broke the deadlock and clinched the points with a late penalty for a 26-23 win.  Tomorrow Charlie Hoggard returns at open-side replacing Blake Nightingale who I assume is injured and Matty Oxtoby is replaced by Mikey Readman. One again I’m unaware of the reason for Oxtoby’s exclusion. Tommy Goodman, Jan Teiber and Joe Lenton are on the bench. Phoenix have lost two of their last six games; at Dinnington 10-9 and at home to Bridlington 16-10. Perhaps the Scarborough players would like to reflect on the fact that the ‘old enemy’ from Dukes Park who were floundering in the relegation zone earlier in the season whilst they were flying high, will climb above them if they beat Heath tomorrow and Scarborough’s losing streak doesn’t end at Doncaster tomorrow.



The Scarborough News of the 6th of March carried the following statements following the news of McCain Foods’ involvement with Scarborough Rugby Club: Graeme Young, Scarborough RUFC’s chief executive said: “We are delighted that McCain Foods has chosen to enter into a partnership with us to further develop our award winning youth development programme. “McCain Foods’ involvement will significantly improve the opportunities for all children and young people in Scarborough to enjoy rugby and other sports at Silver Royd and within all of the town’s schools.” The news comes as a huge boost to the club’s youth development officer, Tom Harrison. Harrison said: “It’s great news for the club to receive the backing of a local giant like McCain. “With McCain backing the club, it will be a huge benefit to all the youngsters who want to take up the sport, as well as the women and girls who have recently launched a team. “This backing will really help us promote the sport of rugby union in the local area.” Victoria Stephenson, Corporate Communications Manager at McCain said: ‘‘McCain Foods has been based in Scarborough for over 40 years and we are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to encouraging active lifestyles in our hometown. “The quality of the facilities and coaching available at the club – coupled with the dedication of the whole team at Scarborough RUFC – are a great asset to Scarborough. “I hope that young people and families in the local areas will come and see what is on offer.”

With probably the best facilities at level seven in the country and with a Youth Development Officer and a cadre of volunteer coaches, the present youth system at the club is working marvellously and plenty of youngsters are playing and progressing through the age groups; however it is a very expensive business and the backing a multi-national company of McCain’s stature is a major coupe. The fact remains however, that only three of Tomorrow’s starting fifteen came through the club youth system. This compares unfavourably with many other clubs in Yorkshire One and it’s something that’s got to be addressed as the club goes forward. I fully understand that we really are at ‘the end of the line’ out here on the coast and have little alternative but to recruit; however producing our own talent is the future and the work already done at the club plus the investment from McCain’s can only hasten the day when we can turn out a side predominantly based on home-grown talent.


Scarborough crash to sixth consecutive league defeat at home to Old Brods

2 Mar




Scarborough crashed to their sixth consecutive league defeat of the year in a five try thriller played in perfect conditions for rugby at Silver Royd yesterday. Old Brods bossed the game with a slick display of close-support play and off-loading in the tackle and should have had the game sewn up going into the final quarter. However, a late Scarborough resurgence  should have clinched an unlikely victory but a combination of bad luck with a late drop-goal which hit an upright and some poor decision making at the death saw the west Yorkshiremen hold on for a narrow but deserved victory.


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