West Bradford Barbarians 10
Scarborough Pirates 24
SCARBOROUGH Pirates kicked off their season in fine style with a powerful performance against West Bradford.
The Barbarians did start the game positively and went close twice in the early stages of this Yorkshire group four opener.
With debutants Tom Ratcliffe and New Zealander Jimmy Thompson settling in with new team mates and Martin Robinson taking the hooker role for the first time, the Pirates play faltered at first.
On 16 minutes the opening try of the campaign came when on the fifth tackle, stand-off Adam Lee launched a high kick toward the right flank.
Winger Craig Marsden leapt high above his opposite number to catch and dive head long into the corner to touchdown.
Playing with much improved cohesion, the Pirates gained momentum.
Six minutes later scrum half Jason Dunn chipped over the defence with centre Oliver Battye gathering and crashed through two defenders to go over, extending the lead to 8-0.
Full back Harry Sleep was unlucky not to add to the tally minutes later when put through. Referee Paul Chippendale adjudged the pass was forward and pulled the play back.
The introduction of Jamie Broadmore and Dom Brining from the bench gave extra impact in the drives through the centre.
A good phase of play resulted in new boy Ratcliffe being held up in goal. From the following play, stand-off Lee jinked through a gap to score just right of the posts. Ratcliffe added the goal to take the visitors in at half time leading 14-0.
The Barbarians came out with more passion in the second period.
Now playing with the slight slope to their advantage, good kicking put the Pirates on the back foot.
A unforced error from Sleep, gave the home side a straight second set. The defensive line was sucked in field with Barbarians winger Dominic Grimmer going over in the corner
Coach Chris Keld had reshuffled moving Ratcliffe into stand-off, with Lee taking over at scrum half.
This pairing proved successful with several sweeping moves seeing the ball flow across the width of the pitch.
On 55 minutes a strong drive from prop Alex Conlin set up Lee and Ratcliffe to spin the ball right quickly.
Johnson gathered and slid under legs to restore the 14-point advantage 18-4.
West Bradford were not finished. Again using the long kick well, they mounted a period of sustained pressure.
Tackling resiliently both Ben Owram and Dan Stanley put in big hits. Jack Hakings used his vast experience to notice that the Barbarians full back was up in the line and launched a long kick up field for winger Tom Jenkinson to chase.
Leaving the home team in his wake, Jenkinson was unlucky not to get to the ball before it went out of play.
West Bradford, now in their best period, grew in confidence. Good work paid off when Carl Spring hit a gap to touchdown and Scott Pendlebury kicked the goal to reduce the deficit to 18-10 on 61 minutes.
The game was to be sealed by the try of the game. Ratcliffe burst clear and drew defenders in, popping up a lovely ball to the charging Dave Douthwaite.
Using all his strength the second row forward broke three tackles in a 40-yard burst to score. Ratcliffe added the extra two to seal a fine victory 24-10.
Man of the Match went to loose forward Hakings, who mixed aggression and skill throughout.
Pirates: Sleep, Jenkinson, Battye, Ratcliffe, Marsden, Lee, Dunn, Stanley, Robinson, Conlin, Douthwaite, Thompson, Hakings, D Brining, Broadmore, Owram, Johnson