Scarborough’s season ended with a sickening thud at Kelleythorpe last Saturday as they suffered a twelve-try, 80-point thrashing at the hands of Driffield who clinched the Yorkshire One championship
It was a sad end to a season that had promised so much back in August; an opening day win (16-9) over visitors Selby in the Yorkshire Shield was followed by the 21-20 defeat of Driffield, a 33-10 win on the road at Barnsley and the 79-10 thrashing of Heath at Silver Royd.
Four wins in the bag by the middle of September and all was going well. Six defeats in the following seven outings saw confidence and performance slip although four of those defeats were by a score or less.
The loss of new-found genuine open side flanker Ben Wilson with injury was a huge blow as the dynamic west Yorkshireman had really made the back-row click; he has I believe, now left the club.
Luckily Tom Ratcliffe was still running in tries for fun and kicking goals with his metronomic boot and the side was competing well.
Five wins before Christmas saw them move into the Yorkshire Shield quarter-finals and the top half of the table and they maintained their league position with bonus point wins over Dinnington, Pontefract and Wath in the New Year when former skipper Nick Ingham returned to action to boost a depleted first-team squad.
However, having lost the services of Chris Purdy and Phil Austen late in the campaign meant that the back row which had so much influence at the start were all sidelined by injury by the end of the season.
With coach Jason Lowde standing down due to work commitments, the club is advertising for a coach; perhaps a player-coach would be the answer?
However I believe this solution is not a favoured option at the club. Cyberspace and the twittersphere have been abuzz this week with talk of big things next season including external recruiting; we will see. Follow all the latest from Silver Royd this summer in this newspaper and on its electronic platforms.
It came as no surprise that with his business commitments which meant extensive travel and a young family that Jason Lowde resigned as coach at the end of the season.
He is a big man and a big character and has had an influence on the club since he arrived at Newby in 2002.
A slick handling prop forward he was a revelation; however his arrival at the club coincided with the retirement of many experienced players. Promotion to North Two East followed, however with a weakened side and in a Level Six league, relegation came at the end of only one season.
It was all shoulders to the wheel and Jason served as skipper in 2003/2004 and later in 2008 by which time fortunes had been revived.
A Hertfordshire county player who has played in several overseas countries, he brought talent and experience to the club and his prodigious efforts before and during the last season have been appreciated by the Scarborough faithful. I’ve no doubt that Jason will continue to be a ‘regular’ at Silver Royd.
While I was chasing my own tail last week, taking notes, photographs and tweeting at a point per minute on the Scarborough-Driffield game I was also following Boro’s progress in their final championship clinching game at Queensgate.
Their triumph cheered me up on a dire day for our rugby team; well done everyone at Scarborough Athletic and wouldn’t it have been great if the game had been played in Scarborough.
Sunday sees the first international rugby match to be held in Scarborough when England Colleges take on the Irish Exiles at Silver Royd, kick-off 3pm.
This is latest in a series of representative games at Silver Royd in the last two seasons; a county Colts’ game was followed by the full Yorkshire-Lancashire county championship fixture last year and the women’s divisional games between The North and the Midlands.
The board at the club are hoping this will be the first of many international fixtures in the years to come.
For Sunday’s game the club is offering a high quality two-course Sunday roast lunch with all the trimmings including entry to the match. There are still some places available at only £15 per head and Scarborough RUFC can be contacted on 01723 357740.
That’s about all from me for another season (my 28th with this newspaper and it predecessor); however we still have the Yorkshire-Durham game to come next month, the Lions in Australia in June and July, cricket at Silver Royd and the Ashes to round off a marvellous summer of (in my case armchair) sport.
I’ll be reporting on the county game next month then I’ll be back in August as Scarborough prepare for another season of Yorkshire One rugby; but first let’s enjoy a hopefully great summer.