Johnson treble boosts Pirates

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A Jack Johnson hat-trick was the icing on the cake for a scintillating Pirates performance away at Thorne Moorends.

His second and third tries in the space of four minutes midway through the second half were the turning point in what had been an unusual game.

Starting in breezy wet conditions the home side put the Pirates immediately under pressure with an excellent kick-off that bounced in play and eluded Johnson to force the visitors to defend on their own 10 metre line.

From the resulting set the home side struck first blood when Armstrong skipped through a massive gap un-opposed. Sean Roberts adding the goal.

Looking very out of sorts the Scarborough side struggled to find any of their usual rhythm.

A break did come on 12 minutes when Billy Parker cleverly reversed play to see Johnson in the corner for his first try of the afternoon.

The home side, however, looked the more comfortable in the difficult conditions and responded from the re-start with quick hands moving the ball wide for centre Brandon Neill to run in another poorly defended try.

Six minutes later the home side’s lead was further extended when the impressive stand off Roberts intercepted a long pass and raced home converting from under the sticks to lead 18–4.

Further problems arose for coach Chris Keld shortly after when both Sam Hakings (back) and Alex Conlin (calf) were forced out of the game with injury.

With Paul Taylor and Loz Brining on in replacement the travelling seasiders settled.

Parker began to get the upper hand on Roberts in the centre and with a massive hit he put the skillful youngster to the ground.

This seemed to spur on his team mates and they clawed back into the game.

Jamie Broadmore came on a diagonal run to set up play, with the ball spinning through hands wide on the right for Oliver Battye to dive over in the corner on 27 minutes to continue Scarborough’s resurgence.

Two minutes later Sam Millward bullocked forward to create an ideal point for scrum half Jason Dunn to set the ball moving right and Mike Picken came into the line to finish well in the corner.

Now firing on all cylinders the Pirates were in full flow.

Dom Brining pressed deep into the 20 metre with a superb drive and acting half Chris Backhouse got the ball up sharply for the experienced Paul Taylor to crash over just left of the posts.

Dunn kicked this time and the Pirates were level just before the interval.

The second half started with end to end rugby, both sides having to defend frantically, with each team completing sets.

Further injury problems reduced the options for Keld. Broadmore (knee) carried from the field at half-time, and Picken forced off with a thigh strain depleted the bench to the basics.

Harry Sleep, on for Picken, chased down a huge up and under from Dunn to force Thorne to kick out from under the posts.

Loz Brining made an excellent tackle and stole the ball one on one to set up another attack for the Pirates immediately.

Sean Outhart and Battye combined to force a knock on and it was now the Pirates game for the taking, and on 55 minutes Johnson struck.

Another Dunn kick bounced up in the favour of Johnson who touched down for the Pirates to take the lead for the first time in the game.

Four minutes later the move of the game saw Parker break through the line.

As he was hauled to the ground he offloaded to the supporting Sean Outhart who fed his brother Lee, who calmly drew his marker to pass out to Stu Barker and the move was finished with a flying dive from Johnson.

The Thorne heads fell and they were now falling out amongst themselves the visitors mounted more and more pressure.

On 65 minutes Dave Douthwaite charged through three tackles to power over, Dunn added the goal and at 18-32 the Pirates were sailing clear.

Four minutes later Taylor forced a knock on as Thorne desperately tried to clear their lines.

Lee Outhart made good ground to get within three metres of the try line and Parker finished the move with a wriggling twist free of his tacklers.

The Thorne lads re-grouped and put in an impressive final 10 minute period, making the Pirates tackle harder than ever to keep them at bay, but all their efforts were too late, with a final score line of 18-36

The home coach praised the resolve of the Pirates and singled out veteran Dunn at scrum half, the rampaging Dave Douthwaite at second row and the two remaining props Dom Brining and Sam Millward who played the majority of the second period as the injury count mounted for the Scarborough side.

The man of the match award went to Sam Millward for a superb display that helped his side seal a hard-fought victory.