FROM THE TOUCHLINE with Dave Campbell Blackburn / The Intermediate Cup / under-15s / RBS 6 Nations

13 Mar
BLACKBURN ON THE ATTACK

BLACKBURN ON THE ATTACK

Players, officials and supporters of Scarborough RUFC are gearing up for what will be the club’s biggest game of the century (all 15 years of it) when Blackburn RFC travel across the Pennines for the quarter-final of the RFU Intermediate Cup at Silver Royd on Saturday.

The Lancashire club’s narrow 28-24 home defeat of visitors St Benedict’s RFC last Saturday saw them move up to top spot in the North Lancs/Cumbria League. Blackburn have lost only twice this season both narrowly; back on the 4th of October 23-19 at St Benedict’s and in mid-January at home 8-7 to promotion rivals Leigh since when they are unbeaten. They have twice topped three figures without reply, beating Furness 100-0 in October and Hawcoat Park 116-0 two weeks ago. Progress to the last eight of this competition was made with a 36-12 win at Aspatria and a 16-16 home draw with Cheshire-based Northwich. Scarborough reached this stage in the competition with the 55-0 defeat of Consett here at Silver Royd and a 34-24 win on the road at Medicals (Newcastle).

SCARBOROUGH FRONT ROW

SCARBOROUGH FRONT ROW

Scarborough’s inconsistent season in the league continued with a 19-32 reverse at North Ribblesdale last week after racing to a 19-0 lead in the first quarter of the game. A huge contributing factor to their inconsistency this season has been a dearth of fit and experienced props. The side’s only specialist tight-head prop Paul Taylor has been dogged by injury and restricted by work commitments, leaving only inexperienced players to fill the gap and without a dedicated number three it’s more than difficult to anchor the scrum and provided a platform for a useful back division; this problem has to be addressed by next season.

PAUL TAYLOR RETURNS picture Andy Standing

PAUL TAYLOR RETURNS
picture Andy Standing

Long term injury victim Phil Watson, Taylor Smith and Tomasz Chadwick will miss the game but skipper Tom Ratcliffe will welcome Paul Taylor and Corey Dennis back from injury to a 22 man squad. Seven substitutes are allowed in the Intermediate Cup and Phil Stewart and Paul White are included in the squad. There are no other senior games on Saturday as the senior players want to attend the big game to cheer on their teammates.

TWICKENHAM

TWICKENHAM

Scarborough’s best effort in the National knockout competitions was to reach the semi-final of the Tetley’s Bitter Vase in 1999 when they lost at Billericay and missed out on a Twickenham final. Back then there was universal entry to all competitions every season with all RFU registered clubs taking part; 500+ clubs started in the Tetley Bitter Vase in that year. Matty Else is the only player who played at Billericay to play tomorrow although CEO Graeme Young also played that day.

MATTY ELSE STILL PLAYING!

MATTY ELSE STILL PLAYING!

Over the years I have been fortunate to travel around England reporting on our cup exploits for the then SCARBOROUGH EVENING NEWS, visiting clubs from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Billericay in Essex: I also took in our games at Chester-le-Street just over the boundary rope at Durham CCC’s Riverside ground in the Shadow of Lumley Castle, Daventry just off the M1 in Northamptonshire, Stoke (Trentham RFC) and Derby University to name but a few; at Newby we hosted such diverse opponents as York Railway Institute, Knottingly and London club Old Hamptonians who played in the shadow of Hampton Court Palace but have dropped out of the leagues and now play in division 6 of the Middlesex Merit Tables. It was a sad day when universal entry to the competitions ended but it was great fun while it lasted. That’s all in the past now and Blackburn’s superb playing record makes them firm favourites to progress further but as is always the case in knockout competitions, it depends on which side ‘turns up’ on the day.

THE UNDER-15S IN ACTION LAST SUNDAY

THE UNDER-15S IN ACTION LAST SUNDAY

 I took a trip up to the club last Sunday lunchtime and was treated to a terrific YRFU under-15s Bowl semi-final between Scarborough and Old Rishworthians. It was an excellent game well refereed by Daryl Conlin with the visitors edging it 12-10. Young Sean Mould scored both of Scarborough’s tries and both sides had vocal but seemly and friendly support from the sidelines. Why not pop along on this Sunday at 11am when the under-14 side take on Malton; it’s entertaining and you’ll get a glimpse into the future of the club.

THE NEW ITALY?........ I'M AFRAID SO!

THE NEW ITALY?…….. I’M AFRAID SO!

Finally, another RBS Six Nations weekend is upon us and with all the excitement surrounding the game at Silver Royd tomorrow, it almost slipped my mind. The big one this weekend is Wales v Ireland at the Millennium Stadium at 2.30pm tomorrow followed by Scotland (are they the new Italy? Answer: I’m afraid so) taking on England at Twickenham at five. A narrow Irish win and a barrow load for England against Scotland are my predictions. Italy hosts France at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday at 3pm. All games will be shown on the big screens at the J.M. Guthrie.

One Response to “FROM THE TOUCHLINE with Dave Campbell Blackburn / The Intermediate Cup / under-15s / RBS 6 Nations”

  1. northcliff99 March 13, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    I see a narrow win for Wales and a very strong game from Scotland.

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