On a wild and windy day at Silver Royd Scarborough were hoping to put last week’s narrow defeat by Bridlington behind them but disappointed their fans by losing 20-18 in the dying minutes at home to a well-organised Ilkley team who will be in the promotion hunt at the end of the season.
Scarborough had the help of a strong breeze behind them in the first half but never made full use of it as their kicking often fell into the safe hands of the Ilkley back three.
In their earlier games this season Scarborough’s handling had been superb but for the second week running it let them down as passes were dropped at vital times.
A much better second half performance almost gave them the win but for a very late try by the Ilkley forwards.
The first half began with both teams trying their utmost to run the ball and open the game up but Ilkley had the first chance to open the scoring.
They declined a penalty in front of the posts instead of going for a catch and drive which came to nothing.
For the first 15 minutes the game ebbed and flowed as both teams looked for an opening try but both defences stood firm.
In the 17th minute Scarborough were awarded a penalty but Tom Ratcliffe’s strike just sailed wide of the posts.
Scarborough continued to attack but a great run by Cory Dennis took play to the Ilkley 20 which ended when the ball was lost.
From this point on Ilkley upped their game and took the lead in the 32nd minute.
A good run by centre Craig Barker resulted in a five metre scrum from which scrum-half Tom Collard sliced through the Scarborough defence to score wide out. The conversion was missed.
Ratcliffe reduced the lead shortly afterwards with a well struck penalty.
With the game moving into injury time Ilkley scored again when full back Stuart Vincent scored in the corner following an incisive move by the visiting threequarters. This took the half-time score to 10-3 to Ilkley.
Scarborough made changes at half-time moving Tom Harrison to fly-half, Graeme Jeffrey to full-back with Paul White coming in on the right wing.
These changes made an immediate difference to the team who now looked far more incisive and within five minutes opened their try count.
Following good work among the threequarters Scarborough centre Ratcliffe burst away down the left flank leaving a trail of would be tacklers behind him to score a fine try.
The conversion was missed but within three minutes Scarborough went futher ahead when Tom Ratcliffe once more broke through the Ilkley defence to give Paul White a clear run the the posts. The try was converted by Ratcliffe to take Scarborough into a 15-10 lead.
Scarborough fans were now in full voice as they roared their team on to an expected victory but unfortunately for them Ilkley had other ideas as they came back into the game.
Helped by some poor Scarborough handling Ilkley dominated the next 10 minutes and following a fine move between their forwards and backs full back Vincent scored in the corner to level the match.
Scarborough almost retook the lead in the 70th minute when Jeffrey broke away on the right flank to beat three men in a run to the line only for the referee to disallow what appeared to be a fine try by ruling that he had lost control of the ball in the act of scoring.
Following the disappointment Ratclffe, with a show and go, split the Ilkley defence once more before he was halted.
However the attack continued and with five minutes remaining Scarborough were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and man of the match Ratcliffe took Scarborough into the lead once again. With the game coming to an end Scarborough’s Harrison was yellow carded by the referee for a high tackle, Ilkley kicked to the corner. The initial catch and drive was repelled but from the following scrum the Ilkley pack drove over the line for the winning try.
Despite this defeat Scarborough are in a much better place than they were at this time last season. They are much fitter and are playing a much more open game.
All senior players are now involved in the training programme and not just the first team, I am sure coach Jason Lowde will inspire and lead them to a successful season.