Full report on Scarborough v Bridlington

23 Dec


 As I write this I’m still recovering from what was undoubtedly the best game played at Silver Royd this season. No doubt encouraged by much advertising and social media comment over 900 turned up for the game with over 200 guests dining before the kick-off.

Scarborough turned in their best performance of the season by some way in a superb local-derby with Bridlington at Silver Royd. However leading 15-12 they conceded an injury-time try which saw the men from Dukes Park snatch a narrow win following a rousing game.

A crowd of almost 900 people gave both sides a rousing welcome and the game kicked off in a febrile atmosphere. Bridlington had the better of early possession and having driven into the Scarborough 22 took an early first half lead when lock Paddy Waines went over from close range in the 7th minute. Fullback Johnson converted.  

With their tight-five having a good afternoon Scarborough were managing to see more possession than they have over their last few games. And when a Tom Harrison break released Tom Ratcliffe down their right flank it looked as if he would make it to the line; however the big fullback was mown down by a high tackle and after lengthy treatment was taken off and played no further part in the game.

The resulting penalty found touch in the visitors 22 and from the lineout the ball was moved infield where swift hands released No8 Isaac Faamau to smash through the middle of the Brid defence and crash over between the uprights. Flyhalf Harrison added the extras to level at 7-7 in the 15th minute.

A ‘no quarter given or taken’ midfield battle continued with Bridlington’s Matui Welsh, Ryan Girking and Jamie Martin mixing it with Scarborough’s Harrison, Graeme Hogg and Loni-Loni very much to the enjoyment of the festive crowd.

Scarborough’s breakaway unit of Ben Martin, Devin Ibanez and Faamau were relishing their work and it was a break from Faamau down the left lank that led to the Silver-Royders second try. The visiting defence failed to stop the big No8 as he charged out of his own half and timed a terrific outside pass to lock forward Aaron Wilson, up in support, to power over near the corner flag in the 36th minute. Harrison failed to convert but Scarborough led 12-7.

Scarborough could have gone further ahead a couple of minutes later when Hogg came onto a crash ball to go over between the posts. However referee Mr Carl Walsh judged the pass to the bustling Scot to be forward and a disappointed home side went to the break 12-7 ahead.

The close-fought nature of the contest continued after the break with perhaps Bridlington looking the sharper side going forward. However solid defence saw Scarborough still ahead and when they were awarded a penalty on the Brid ten metre line, Hogg delivered a mighty hoof to stretch the lead to 15-7 in the 58th minute.

That eight point advantage was short lived as the visitors piled on the pressure and good work in the centre made room for fly-half Welsh to elude the attentions of the Scarborough defence to stride over in the 63rd minute for an unconverted try which reduced the arrears to three points

In a punishing fourth quarter battle for both sides Graham Hogg had a couple of chances with long range penalties which could have stretched the Scarborough lead but was unsuccessful.

In injury-time Scarborough had the put-in at a lineout in the northwest corner of the ground where Bridlington had scored their opening try. The visitors won the lineout and broke from defence; Scarborough conceded a penalty on halfway and the kick took play into the home 22. Brid gained possession from the lineout and the ball was moved infield from the resulting maul for Martin to sprint over when Scarborough ran out of defenders in the fourth minute of injury time.

The conversion was missed and Scarborough had one more attack but Bridlington held on for a narrow but deserved 17-15 victory based on concentration, composure and team spirit.

For Scarborough there were many positives to be taken from this marvellous local derby, not least the outstanding performance of fly-half Tom Harrison who has matured this season as a player. The back row particularly Devin Ibanez, was dynamic and the team showed the spirit and composure which could see them challenge for promotion in the New Year. But it’ll be behind Bridlington who look almost certain to go up to North One as champions.



The young American open-side flanker had his best game since arriving at Silver Royd. His tackling was fearsome and his durability is amazing for his physique. He was perpetual motion in defence and attack and he must have covered more ground than any other player on the paddock. I believe he will have returned to the USA by the time you read this. I fervently hope he returns. 



Next week I’ll review the season so far and what we can expect in 2017; also read my Scarborough rugby column in the Scarborough Review out next week. Finally, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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