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.


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