It was a game of two halves as Scarborough battled hard to win at Yorkshire One basement club Old Brodleians in testing conditions on Saturday.
Scarborough kicked off down the slope but it was hosts Old Brodleians who had the early initiative with Scarborough unable to get out of their own half.
On seven minutes Scarborough finally got onto the front foot with a great run from Corey Dennis, he offloaded to the supporting Paul White, who in turn moved the ball inside to Eamon Chapman, but he was brought down agonisingly close to the line which resulted in a penalty to Brods and the danger was duly cleared.
The respite was short-lived for the hosts as skipper Tom Ratcliffe broke down the left flank, but Graeme Jeffrey was unable to collect the pass inside and knocked on.
After 15 minutes another scintillating run by Corey Dennis resulted in a Scarborough penalty right in front of the posts which Tom Harrison duly kicked to put the visitors 3-0 in front.
Scarborough failed to push on from there and Old Brods pinned them back in their own half with Eamon Chapman, Taylor Smith and Nick Ingham putting in some crunching tackles. For all Old Brods’ possession they lacked a cutting edge and the away side were able to keep them at bay.
Scarborough were struggling to clear the ball but when Ratcliffe’s long kick clear was collected inside his home half by the Old Brods full-back, his long pass inside was wayward and Nick Ingham pounced and forced the turnover and Corey Dennis collected the loose ball and romped over. Harrison made no mistake with the tricky conversion and Scarborough were 10-0 in front and in command.
Scarborough looked dangerous whenever they had ball in hand, but they just didn’t do it often enough. They were struggling in the scrum too and an infringement in their own half allowed Danny Wood to reduce the arrears with a penalty.
As the half drew to a close Tom Harrison used the slope to good advantage placing his penalty on the five-metre line. Scarborough collected the line-out and worked the ball to Jesse MacDonald, who crashed over from a couple of yards out. Again Harrison made no mistake with the conversion to increase the lead to 17-3.
There was still time for scarborough to waste a great chance when they lost their own scrum on the Old Brods five-metre line.
Coach Lee Douglas’ half-time instructions would have been to keep it tight in the first 10 minutes of the second half and he must have been left shaking his head in disbelief as Tom Moody evaded a number of half-hearted challenges to gallop over inside the first minute of the second half and give the hosts hope of a way back into the contest.
Wood converted a difficult kick and it was Wood again who reduced the arrears with a penalty minutes later.
Old Brods were now in full flow and the lacklustre Scarborough side were in danger of collapsing and Wood had the chance to reduce the arrears to a single point with a penalty.
Thankfully for the visitors his long-range kick drifted wide and it remained 17-13 to the away side.
Scarborough continued to struggle in the scrum and were giving possession away all too easily. When Ratcliffe intercepted the ball on his own 22-yard line it looked like he would break clear, but great defensive work brought him to a halt.
From the resulting ruck Old Brods gave away a penalty and Harrison put over a long range kick to give the visitors breathing space.
Scarborough’s forwards then produced a determined and impressive period of play as from midway inside their own half, the Scarborough men recycled the ball 15 times and drove the home side back to deep inside their own half.
Time and time again Ingham, Taylor Smith, Mark Hopper and the other forwards recycled the ball and drove the hosts back.
The drive forward was only halted after handbags between Smith and a BrodS player which saw both receive a yellow card.
Scarborough were unfairly penalised at the scrum and Old Brods cleared, but Scarborough were straight back on the offensive and the great forward play had taken its toll on the home side, who were looking jaded.
Harrison made a great break for the line but was hauled down short before the Scarborough scrum finally got going and had the Old Brods pack marching backwards at an alarming rate and it was no surprise when they pushed over for the third try and secured the points in the process.
Eamon Chapman got the vital touch before Harrison was unsuccessful with the kick, leaving Scarborough with a 25-13 success.