Harrison returns for Yorkshire Shield clash with rampant Bradford

Tom Harrison returns for Scarborough RUFC's Yorkshire Shield clash with Bradford & Bingley on Saturday
Tom Harrison returns for Scarborough RUFC's Yorkshire Shield clash with Bradford & Bingley on Saturday

Bradford and Bingley make their first visit to Silver Royd for Saturday’s Yorkshire Shield game, but it’s not their first visit to Scarborough this century.

Back in March 2003 they travelled to Newby for a game in North Two East, which they easily won 50-5 on their way to winning the league.

Earlier that season I was privileged to watch Scarborough slide to the club’s record defeat as they were blown away 116-3 at Wagon Lane.

In mitigation, most of the Tongan International Sevens side from the previous summer’s Commonwealth games in Manchester, who had trained at the club during the games, stayed on to play for the Bees that season and ran the Seasiders ragged. The Bees lost only one game that season, an 8-6 defeat at Redcar.

The Clevelanders travelled to Scarborough full of confidence the following week only to lose 14-13 at Newby, one of only four Scarborough wins that season.

Scarborough’s league fixture at Wagon Lane earlier this season saw coach Lee Douglas’ charges race to a 19-0 lead in the opening 12 minutes of the game thanks to tries from Ant Coffey, Matty Young and Wesley Langkilde with Tom Harrison converting two.

Bradford bounced back with a couple of tries before Harrison stretched the lead to 22-12 with a penalty. A further Bees’ try cut the visitors’ lead to 22-19 at the break.

There was only one team in it in the second half as the home side scored 20 points without reply for a convincing 39-22 win.

Skipper Tom Ratcliffe’s men totally ran out of steam and Bradford thoroughly deserved their convincing win.

The West Yorkshiremen haven’t looked back since then and apart from a surprise 27-23 defeat at Hullensians three weeks ago, lead Yorkshire One by five points from Malton & Norton.

Last Saturday the 100-mile round trip to Settle resulted in a 42-21 thumping at the hands of North Ribblesdale, where the men from Silver Royd have been unsuccessful since a 9-5 win back in 2002.

In sub-zero temperatures and without the services of Tom Harrison, Graeme Jeffrey, Coffey, Ian Williams, Harry Domett and James Leach, Ribb’ tore their makeshift midfield apart.

Of the missing, only Harrison, who was unavailable last week, returns presumably at fly-half with Tomasz Chadwick bolstering the midfield as part of a ninth centre combination in 11 games this season.

Martin Robinson and Alessandro Zavatti are in a 17-man squad which will be expanded to 19 on Saturday.

Scarborough RUFC women’s team are back in action on Sunday when they travel to south Yorkshire for a league game with Barnsley Ladies.

It’ll be the first league meeting between the clubs, however Barnsley was the Valkyries opponents for their first ever fifteen-a-side game exactly a year ago on Sunday.

The Scarborough Ladies turned in a creditable performance considering it was their first full game but went down 0-29 to an experienced team.

The local ladies have progressed considerably in a year and will look to bounce back from their 11-0 home defeat by YORK RI early this month.