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

14 Mar

TOM RATCLIFFE SCORES AGAINST DONCASTER PHOENIX

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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.

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