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

7 Mar

ACTION FROM LAST WEEK’S SCARBOROUGH-OLD BRODLEIANS GAME

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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.

HOME-GROWN PLAYERS MARK HOPPER AND PHIL STEWART IN ACTION LAST WEEK

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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.

 

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