PROMOTED! Dave Campbell reviews Scarborough RUFC’s record-breaking season under new coach Simon Smith.i

4 May

THE SPIRIT OF SCARBOROUGH!

The squad following another tough game on the road. Picture Breesha Curphy.

Scarborough completed their regular league season on the 21st of April with a 52-33 win at Keighley and with rivals Heath RFC losing at home to hopefuls Middlesbrough, they secured second spot in RFU Yorkshire One and a play-off game with the runners up in Durham/Northumberland One Durham City with the winners of that game moving up to play regional rugby in NORTH ONE EAST next season.

Action from the home defeat of Hullensians Picture Andy Standing

The farcical situation surrounding Durham’s conceding the game (convoluted details on  the goings on between Durham City and the RFU Northern competitions committee are on  the Durham City facebook page) had nothing whatsoever to do with Scarborough and should in no way diminish the magnificent achievements of Simon Smith and his team in his first season as Coach.

However we have to go all the way back to September to look at how the men from Silver Royd got to what should have been a promotion playoff game; they made a great start to the season with an opening day 36-21 win over Keighley and with only one defeat (against champions York) in their opening nine games they made a flying start to the season. However they were slowed a bit by a defeat at home to Heath and a 12-34 reverse on the road at Leeds-based outfit Moortown in early December. Equilibrium was restored by wins against Beverley 36-12 and the amazing 91-7 thumping of Wheatley Hills in the last game before Christmas.

Harry Domett and step-brother Sam Dawson in action at Beverley. Photograph ANDY Standing

After the festive break they continued scoring tries for fun but their progress was temporarily impeded by a narrow 17-20 home defeat by York in January and a surprise 18-24 reverse at the hands of newly promoted Old Rishworthians in mid February.

With the season drawing to a nail-biting close, Scarborough, Heath and Middlesbrough all looked to grab second slot in the league and a play-off place. The Seasiders appeared to have the toughest run-in of the three with three games on the road and only one at home. A narrow 17-20 defeat at Heath on the 31st of March was disappointing but they gained a losing bonus point having lost by less than a score (seven points) and restricted Heath to only four points.

Prop Paul Taylor drives over at Keighley. Photograph by Andy Standing

Having beaten Moortown 40-31 at home they finished the season with a 50-22 win at North Ribblesdale and that 52-33 high-scoring thriller at Keighley. The runners-up spot was achieved in style as they scored maximum 1 bonus points (four or more tries) in every game they had won (19) and were top points scorers in Yorkshire One with 858.

Semi scene: a great atmosphere under the lights at Silver Royd

And the story of Season 2017-18 is not yet over with last week’s 29-5 Yorkshire Shield semi-final defeat of Beverley at Silver Royd securing a place in the final against Old Rishworthians at HullIonians RFC on Sunday the 13th of May. Could it be the double for Simon and his players? It’ll be a tough game but I certainly wouldn’t bet against them!

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