Scarborough beaten in final outing at Pontefract

Joe Marshall is tackled during the defeat at Pontefract. Picture: Andy Standing.
Joe Marshall is tackled during the defeat at Pontefract. Picture: Andy Standing.

Mystery still surrounds why the Yorkshire RFU insisted on this fixture, which was abandoned due to a referee injury a month ago, had to be replayed with Pontefract already relegated.

Rumour has it that a yet unnamed Yorkshire One side may be deducted as many as 20 league points resulting in Pontefract being reprieved.

Predictably the game turned out to be a dire, error-strewn affair between a home side whose efforts this season have not been good enough to keep them in Yorkshire One and a makeshift Scarborough side with one eye on their summer break.

Pontefract made a great start to the game when they won possession wide on their left just outside the Scarborough 22.

The ball was moved infield, where centre Matthew Bacon sold the pedestrian visiting mid-field an outrageous dummy and strolled over between the uprights in the fourth minute. Full-back Andy Dean added the extras for 7-0.

Although the visiting pack had the upper hand in the set scrums, their ball retention was poor and when the Scarborough defence got themselves into a midfield muddle in the 10th minute, they were pinged for offside and Dean slotted the resulting penalty for 10-0.

There were bright touches from the visitors and flanker Hayden Ogilvie, who was in fine form, made a superb break in the 16th minute but ran out of support.

Young second row James Leach also showed promise when he took a long throw at the tail of the line-out and thundered into Ponte territory, only to be halted by a last-ditch tap-tackle.

The Scarborough pack took a strike against the head in the 20th minute and moved the ball in-field only to be dispossessed and the chance had gone.

However, five minutes later as they drove the home pack over their own line following a scrum, live-wire scrum-half Jordan Wakeham got the touch to reduce the arrears to five points.

Fly-half Tom Harrison missed the touchline conversion.

A pretty forgettable arm-wrestle of a second quarter saw Pontefract take their 10-5 advantage to the break.

Pontefract kicked-off the second half and looked to build on their slender lead and a terrific break by flanker Scott Hawkins looked promising before a crunching tackle from Scarborough hooker Mark Hooper stopped him in his tracks.

The Seasiders looked to run the ball but their efforts for much of the time were too lateral with the exception of youngsters Wakeham and Ogilvie.

The best move of the game came in the 50th minute when clean ball from a Pontefract rolling maul was moved infield and Bacon left a trail of would-be tacklers behind him as he sprinted over from 20 metres.

Dean added the extras for 17-5.

Scarborough pretty much had the upper hand in the fourth quarter and should have been awarded a try when number eight Nick Ingham powered over from close range, only for the poorly-positioned referee Daniel Woods to disallow his effort in the 65th minute.

Three minutes later Hopper was scythed down by a high-tackle with the line at his mercy four metres out when a try was inevitably going to be scored.

Instead of awarding a penalty try, Mr Woods sin-binned the miscreant and awarded a penalty.

Scarborough opted for a scrum, the west-Yorkshiremen once again infringed and conceded a penalty try.

Harrison added the extras to reduce the arrears to five points at 17-12.

Scarborough turned the screw, but a combination of Ponte defence and poor decision-making saw the home line remain intact.

A Pontefract clearance from defence sailed over the head of Scarborough’s Joe Marshall late in the game and although the young wing recovered to collect, he was penalised for not releasing and Dean slotted the penalty to settle the issue.

Scarborough eschewed an injury time penalty which would have earned them a bonus point, showing their lack of game awareness, but perhaps they had just about enough of the 2014-15 season.

For a cobbled-together Scarborough side, Harrison and Wakeham were pick of the backs with Hopper, Leach, Ogilvie and Smith taking the plaudits up front.