From the Touchline: Young’s vision coming to fruition

From the Touchline with SRUFC press officer Dave Campbell
From the Touchline with SRUFC press officer Dave Campbell

Last year Scarborough CEO Graeme Young told the Scarborough News that negotiations were ongoing to bring International Women’s Rugby to Scarborough.

As an initial step in this process the Rugby Football Union’s Northern Division will bring the opening divisional championship games between the North of England and the Midlands to Silver Royd on Sunday.

This competition is used to give the England selectors the chance to see the candidates for selection in action before they pick the international sides for next season’s Six Nations Championships and other international competitions.

On Sunday a strong contingent of Yorkshire players have been selected for the North under-15s, under-18s and Senior Women’s teams which will add local spice to the afternoon’s proceedings.

The under-18s will star Scarborough’s Zoe Aldcroft who started as a mini at the old ground at Newby and has progressed since the age of eleven to play county and divisional rugby.

A Scalby School student, she now looks a firm favourite to progress to the full England side having taken part in several elite women’s training weekends in London and was invited to a training weekend for the England Sevens squad recently.

Zoe was named Player of the match for Yorkshire against Northumberland in their last game having scored a hat-trick of tries.

She has completed a successful trial at Hartpury College, a specialist rugby college where Aviva Premiership club Gloucester’s first team squad train and has been accepted onto the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence; was informed of this with a phone call from England Women’s star Danielle Waterman.

On Sunday the under-15 and under-18 games will kick-off at noon with the Senior England Northern Division versus Midlands game kicking-off at 1.45pm.

Admission is free and it’s a chance to see the cream of England woman’s talent in the North and Midlands on your doorstep; so why not get along to Silver Royd and cheer on local girl Zoe and the England stars of the future.

Admission is free and hot, cold and alcoholic drinks and hot food will be on sale.

Following a 25-17 defeat on the road at bottom club Knottingley last week, skipper Phil Watson’s men will look to bounce back with a home win over visitors North Ribblesdale at Silver Royd on Saturday.

This will be their first home game since the 13-0 defeat of Bridlington on January 12.

Unbeaten at home since October, they will look forward to avenging a 30-23 defeat on the road also back in October.

Tries from Zbynek Schutz, Tom Ratcliffe and Luke Raines meant that the Seasiders were always in touch in a thrilling clash but four tries for the Settle-based outfit saw them to a bonus point victory.

Since a surprise 23-22 win at (then) league leaders Huddersfield YMCA in October, North Ribblesdale have won only two league games with back-to-back wins in December; 32-26 at Ilkley and the 33-10 home defeat of Old Brodleians.

Their last two games have been away from home, both in south Yorkshire; a 22-16 defeat at Barnsley and a 23-8 reverse at Dinnington last week.

Craig Farrell and Cory Dennis who missed the trip to Knottingley with injury and Graeme Jeffrey who was unavailable should return to action.

Other senior rugby on Saturday sees the Vikings and Danesmen in action against teams from Pocklington.

The Silver Royd second string entertains Pocklington Panthers at Silver Royd with the Danesmen travelling to Pocklington to take on Pock Pilgrims. All games kick-off at 2.15pm.

It is now nearly a year since Andrew ‘Mo’ Stevenson lost his battle with cancer and left all at Scarborough Rugby Club shocked by his untimely death at just 37.

His parents John and Jean have decided that the best way to remember Andrew is to come together annually at the club to enjoy a game and a typical après-Rugby at the J.M. Guthrie.

The inaugural game for the Andrew Stevenson Memorial Shield will be played at Silver Royd on Easter Monday April 1 with the game being preceded by a fund-raising lunch in the Qdos Suite and all proceeds raised going to Macmillan Nurses and St Catherine’s Hospice.

Planning is at an early stage and further details will be announced shortly.