Resurgent Scarborough ran in a ‘magnificent seven’ tries in another thrilling performance at Silver Royd to notch up their fourth consecutive win and record their biggest league win since their returning to Yorkshire One in 2006.
Scarborough fielded Castleford’s kick-off but were penalised at a maul just inside their own half; visiting flyhalf Ian Mattison found touch inside the home 22 with his kick and from the resulting lineout the west Yorkshiremen moved the ball swiftly through hands from left to right for winger Dave Turner on the overlap to score in the corner with only two minutes on the clock. Mattison missed the conversion.
Leading 5-0 the visitors redoubled their efforts through a series of punishing forward drives looking to release their handy-looking back division. The Seasiders put themselves under pressure with misdirected touch kicking giving Castleford a series of line-outs deep in Scarborough territory.
However the storm was weathered and Scarborough grabbed the lead in the 10th minute when wing Harry Domet scampered down the left touchline, deftly chipped through for flanker Louis Karl to gather and release fullback Graeme Jeffrey who powered over. Matty Jones, playing in the second row for Matthew Else added the extras for 7-5.
End-to-end stuff ensued with both sides looking to run the ball and Castleford were denied a try in the 22nd minute when ref Jonathon Hill penalised the ‘scorer’ for a double movement which appeared rather harsh.
At this stage the visitors had the upper hand and it would have been no surprise had they gone ahead.
However, it was Scarborough who stretched their lead two minutes later when a blistering run by Jeffrey down the right flank saw the ball recycled following a tackle on the big fullback and scrum-half Deina Morete darted over. Jones converted for 14-5.
The seesaw nature of the game continued with hugely entertaining rugby being played by both sides.
Centres Chris Redfearn and John Waddle for the visitors and Billy Parker, Paul White, Karl, Morete and fly-half Phil Stewart for the home side took the eye during this period. Pressure in the Scarborough 22 saw Mattison reduce the arrears to three points with penalties in the 35th and 37th minutes.
Scarborough had a chance to stretch the lead with a long distance Jones penalty in the 39th minute which had the direction but fell just short and on the stroke of halftime Louis Karl knocked on a bouncing ball with the line at his mercy.
Leading 14-11 Scarborough scored within a minute of the re-start a misdirected clearance from the visitors was fielded wide on Scarborough’s right and good work by the threes released in-form Paul White who powered through a gap from 25 metres to score near the posts. Jones added the conversion for 21-11.
Skipper Nick Ingham’s men were starting to control the game with the forwards dominating and great work from halfbacks Stewart and Morete linking with a now rampant threequarters for whom Jeffrey, Parker, White and Domett were outstanding.
A penalty by Jones when Castleford were pinged for hands in a ruck stretched the lead to 24-11 in the 48th minute quickly followed by a deserved try for Phil Stewart who powered over from 15 metres when Domett charged down a defensive clearance and released the Scarborough fly-half. Jones added the conversion for a 31-11 lead in the 50th minute.
When Jones found touch on the Castleford 22 with a penalty in the 66th minute, Purdy secured and Domett scampered forward combining with Morete to release Marcus Edwardsto double shimmy two defenders and score near the posts and roll back the years.
Jones goaled for 38-11.
Castleford heads never went down during this period put going into the final 10 minutes of the game Scarborough looked the fitter of the two sides.
And when Morete made a searing break of more than 60 metres from deep defence he found Jeffrey up in support to gallop over for his second try of the afternoon. Jones made no mistake with the conversion for a 45-11 lead in the 73rd minute.
And a triumphant afternoon for Scarborough was completed with three minutes to go when lovely hands from Edwards and the combination of Parker and White sent Jeffrey in for his hat-trick.
Jones inexplicably scuffed his conversion attempt from in front of the posts but six out of seven is pretty good going!
This was in every sense a complete team performance. From a dominant pack to great work in defence and attack from a hungry back division looking the real deak.
Without Matt Else and Wayne Adams: unavailable and injured respectively, coach Beck fielded four front-rowers in the tight five but it worked well with the back row of Purdy, Karl and Lee in good form behind them.
The midfield of Morete, Stewart, Parker and White ran the show with the back three of Domett, Matt Lucas and hat-trick hero Jeffrey excelling in front of a big Silver Royd turnout.
Scarborough: Jeffrey, Lucas, White, Parker, Domett, Stewart, Morete, Lowde, Williams, Taylor, Jones, Ingham (capt), Purdy, Karl, Lee, Subs: Readman, Tite and Edwards (for Williams, Lee and Lucas second half).