SCARBOROUGH 26 BLACKBURN 0 pictures Andy Standing

16 Mar
WESLEY LANGKILDE ON THE CHARGE

WESLEY LANGKILDE ON THE CHARGE

By Dave Campbell                                                          

Scarborough blew away the challenge of high-flying Blackburn and marched into the semi-finals of the Intermediate Cup at a packed and passionate Silver Royd.  A powerful pack performance was the cornerstone of the Seasiders’ best outing of the season running in four tries without reply against a side which has scored over 1000 points so far this season. 

Playing in bright sunshine with a stiff north-easterly wind behind them the men from Lancashire made early inroads but lacked penetration against a bristling Scarborough defensive line. Against a bigger side, Scarborough accepted the physical challenge and their ‘in your face’ attitude had the visitors rattled especially when Paul Taylor joined the fray at tight-head in the 11th minute. 

WAKEHAM, OGILVIE AND INGHAM IN ACTION AGAINST BLACKBURN

WAKEHAM, OGILVIE AND INGHAM IN ACTION AGAINST BLACKBURN

Most of the game was being played ten metres either side of halfway as the forward sparring continued but slick Blackburn handling on the home ten metre line in the 14th minute released winger Matt Hughes to power down the right touchline into the Scarborough 22. However some great cover tackling snuffed out the threat and the chance was gone. 

Scarborough was winning the back-row battle and Messrs Chapman, Ogilvie and Else were suffocating the visitors’ mid-field efforts. Blackburn employed the boot of flyhalf Sam Morgan to make ground looking to turn the Scarborough defence but his efforts rarely troubled the Seasiders’ back three of Harry Domett, Graeme Jeffery and Joe Marshall who counterattacked from deep. 

SCARBOROUGH HOOKER IAN WILLIAMS

SCARBOROUGH HOOKER IAN WILLIAMS

Tom Harrison’s kicking continued to trouble the visitors and when he set up an attacking five metre lineout in the 28th minute, the home pack executed a perfect catch and drive and prop Mark Hopper was driven over for the opening try. Harrison added the extras with a remarkable touchline conversion into the wind for a 7-0 lead. 

With Scarborough having a stranglehold up front and in midfield, Blackburn had great difficulty getting their much-vaunted back division into action and although the visiting threes appeared powerful they were often muscled out of it by the home defence.

PICK OF THE BACKS TOM HARRISON

PICK OF THE BACKS TOM HARRISON

 With half-time beckoning a bustling line-break by centre Billy Parker was taken on by skipper Tom Ratcliffe. The big centre was tackled inches short of the line and from the ensuing ruck Taylor powered over between the uprights. Harrison converted for a 14-0 halftime lead. 

Blackburn made a positive start to the second forty minutes and surprisingly marched the home eight back at a couple of early scrums but couldn’t sustain the momentum and lost their foothold in Scarborough territory when a clearance from Harrison took them back deep into their own half. 

BLACKBURN SCRUM-HALF SEAN HALL CLEARS FROM A RUCK

BLACKBURN SCRUM-HALF SEAN HALL CLEARS FROM A RUCK

The visitors continued to play with purpose and made some progress into the Scarborough half thanks to some elusive running by their man-of-the-match scrum-half Sean Hall. However their execution let them down so many times and when a promising attack floundered on the Scarborough 22, Harrison intercepted a sloppy pass and was only caught on the visitors’ ten metre line. 

Blackburn looked to run from far too deep and when they were squeezed in midfield, invariably lost possession. And from some good work in the loose by the indefatigable Eamon Chapman the ball was moved to Harrison 35 metres out; his superb looping run into the 22 saw the big No7 released to power over in the 52nd minute. Harrison missed his only conversion of the afternoon but Scarborough led 19-0. 

There was still plenty of fight left in the Lancastrians and unfortunately it spilled over near the touchline near halfway on the hour mark. However the referee Tom Doig sorted it out with calm authority and the handbags were stowed away for the remainder of the game. 

EAMON CHAPMAN TURNED IN A PERPETUAL MOTION PERFORMANCE

EAMON CHAPMAN TURNED IN A PERPETUAL MOTION PERFORMANCE

With Jordi Wakeham on for Robinson at Scrum-half the Blackburn defence was given a few more problems to solve and had their hands full containing his probing runs. Having almost created a try with a penetrating break with a few minutes to go Wakeham executed the coup de grace with a rapier-like dart into the 22, releasing Chapman for his second try on 80 minutes. Harrison converted to get the party started!

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