Having struggled to make an impression in the first half of this Yorkshire Shield second round tie at Barnsley, last season’s beaten finalists Scarborough bounced back with a much improved performance after the break running in three tries without reply to progress to the third round of the competition with a 22-13 win.
Playing with the breeze the Seasiders made early inroads; camping in the home 22; a couple of powerful scrums marched the south Yorkshiremen back but a combination of good Barnsley defence and poor control at the base of the scrum saw Scarborough spurn several try-scoring opportunities in the opening five minutes.
However when the Barnsley defensive line crept offside, centre Tom Ratcliffe kicked the visitors 3-0 ahead in the 7th minute.
The lead was however short lived and following a try-saving tackle by Harry Domett on Barnsley winger Will Smith, the resulting lineout was lost and flanker Joe South was driven over in the corner. Fly-half Andy Appleyard’s conversion attempt fell short and the Yorkshire Two outfit led 5-3 in the 10th minute.
The rugby that followed was scrappy and lacked structure, perhaps in Scarborough’s case because so many players were in unfamiliar roles due to the exodus of experienced players during the summer. Appleby and Ratcliffe missed penalties in the 20th and 23rd minutes respectively before the Barnsley ten kicked his side 8-3 ahead when the visitors were penalized for not releasing in the 28th minute.
Although they appeared to be struggling up front, the Seasiders had several try-scoring opportunities in the second quarter but wayward passes and some poor handling in the three-quarters saw them go begging. Scrum-half Phil Stewart came off with a shoulder injury and youngster Jordan Wakeham came on for his senior debut for the club.
Barnsley ended the half with a flourish when they took advantage of some poor Scarborough back-row work to steal possession and move the ball wide for Will Smith to squeeze in at the corner in the 40th minute. Appleyard was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt and Barnsley led 13-3 at the break.
Scarborough looked lively after the break and good running by Dommett, Ratcliffe, winger Joe Marshall, Graeme Jeffrey in the centre and fullback Corey Dennis tested the south Yorkshire side’s resolve. The new halfback pairing of Tom Chadwick and Jordy Wakeham began to click and following pressure in their own 22 in the opening minutes of the half, the men from Silver Royd began to look dangerous as they got on the front foot.
And the revival started in the 46th minute when a Barnsley dropped ball was scooped up by Paul White: the newly-converted flanker surged out of defence leaving would-be tacklers in his wake before releasing Domett who sprinted away to score. Ratcliffe was just wide with his conversion attempt but the arrears were reduced to five points at 13-8.
Barnsley’s resolve appeared to fade in the 21 degree heat and their supply of ball dried up as young prop Ryan Pickering destructively turned the screw in the front row. Behind the scrum young Wakeham was a revelation and his work with Tom Chadwick opened the game up for Scarborough.
A scampering run out of defence by Corey Dennis was taken on down the left flanker and a precise chip-through by Chadwick saw him outstrip the defence and get the touch for his first try for the club. He added the touchline conversion for 15-13 in the 55th minute.
Scarborough kept the ball in hand and Domett, Wakeham, Chadwick and Joe Lenton on as a substitute and looking confident at fullback, looked increasing dangerous. To their credit the south Yorkshire men put their bodies on the line and defended well.
Domett was just bundled into touch short of the line in the 68th minute but following good work by Chadwick and Wakeham, flanker Rob Sutton dived over for the clinching try in the 74th minute. Chadwick converted for 22-13.
Although a bullocking charge by prop Paul Taylor almost brought a further score in the 77th minute, the south Yorkshiremen gave the visitors a fright in the closing minutes of the game when a loose ball was hacked-on over the try-line by substitute Mark Fisher; however he fluffed his touchdown attempt and the chance was gone.
The week started off badly for the Silver Royd club when two key players left suddenly and without warning. It ended well with this win illuminated by the performances of youngsters Jordy Wakeham, Ryan Pickering, Joe Lenton and Joe Marshall.