GOING DOWN TO THE WIRE? Dave Campbell previews the visit of Percy Park and Scarborough RUFC’s promotion push.

28 Mar



With only three games to go in Scarborough’s North One East campaign, it looks like the battle for promotion and play-off places could go right down to the wire on the last day of the season on the 14th of April;  so all three of those last three games will be cup finals for Coach Simon Smith’s charges. The Seasiders will play Malton & Norton at the Gannock on the 6th of April and the last game of the season will be against Bradford & Bingley at Silver Royd but first up are Percy Park RFC at home on Saturday; the North Shields-based club have had a good season having lost only two games at home and sit fifth in the league. They’ve had less success on the road where they lost their first eight away games. However they ended their away-day blues with a win at Consett in February and followed that up with away wins in consecutive weeks in this area at Bridlington and Malton in March. Last Saturday they continued their impressive home form with the 50-35 defeat of Bradford and Bingley.



Last week Matty Jones’s men travelled to Morley for a clash between second and third teams in the league looking for points to clinch a play-off spot for promotion to the North Premier League. Morley were quick out of the traps and ran in four unanswered tries in a whirlwind start to lead 26-0 after only 14 minutes! However Scarborough bounced back with a couple of touchdowns to reduce the arrears at 10-29 at half-time. A spirited fight-back saw the Seasiders score three second half tries to win a vital bonus point. Cade Robinson got his marching orders on the hour and the visitors had to play with 14 men for the last twenty minutes of the game. Morley scored a second half try and kicked a penalty to win a cracking game of rugby 39-31 but Scarborough showed Great Spirit to come back and score five tries.



When the Seasiders travelled to Percy Park in December they managed to come from behind to snatch a 23-23 draw late in the game. ‘Park’ led 23-13 with four minutes to go; however Jordi Wakeham sent Aaron Wilson in for a try converted by Tom Ratcliffe to reduce the arrears to three points at 23-20 in the 80th minute and Ratcliffe kicked a penalty deep in injury-time to level the scores. Scarborough’s small squad was stretched that day with front-rower Sam Dawson and lock Tom Hicks missing due to work commitments and No8 Ben Martin injured; but a re-shuffle was made and a good performance ensued. Strength in depth is still a problem; Manning Smith has returned to New Zealand to have reoccurring knee problem investigated, Cade Robinson is banned following last week’s sending off and Tom Hicks is unavailable. Will Leah will play in the second row whilst Phil Stewart, Ian Williams and Will Rennard (nephew of the legendary Colin) are on the bench.

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