Scarborough’s run goes on as they claim last-gasp win

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough tackle..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102c
Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough tackle..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102c

Scarborough turned in a somewhat uneven performance in front of a good Silver Royd turnout running in four tries for a winning bonus point but conceding three in another hugely entertaining game which saw them grab victory in dramatic fashion deep in injury-time.

Having conceded an early penalty slotted by ‘YM’ centre Ed Barber, Scarborough took the game to the visitors and strong running from fly-half Tom Harrison, centre Craig Farrell and fullback Rob James soon had the west Yorkshirmen on the back foot.

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102b

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102b

And it was no surprise when wingman Tom Ratcliffe secured a Garryowen from scrum-half Bill Freeman and released Harrison who galloped over in the ninth minute and added the extras for a 7-3 lead.

The Seasiders had another gold plated chance in the 11th minute when Farrell released wingman Harry Sleep who ignored great inside support and was tackled into touch with the line begging.

Scarborough did surge further ahead in the 12th minute when outside centre Paul White intercepted a loose pass on halfway and released Ratcliffe who raced 40 metres to score between the uprights. Harrison converted for 14-3.

Coach Dave Beck’s charges exhilarated by their two early tries appeared to nod off long enough for centre Lloyd Bentley to release right wing Alex Shaw who outstripped some sloppy wide defence to tear up the touch line and score in the corner in the 15th minute to reduce the arrears to six points at 14-8. Barber missed the conversion.

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102e

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102e

And the tries just kept coming: having failed to finish a great run himself, the admirable Farrell released James to power up the left touchline and score in the corner in the 18th minute. Harrison goaled for a 21-8 lead.

Huddersfield heads never went down and Barber knocked over a long distance penalty to reduce the arrears to 21-11 when Scarborough were caught offside in the 20th minute.

The excitement never abated in the second quarter and great work by prop Nino Cutino released Sleep but a great cover tackle by visiting fullback Nick Clarke saved a certain try.

Sleep was back in the thick of it minutes later when a Harrison long looped pass went astray, was kicked through by his opposite number Simon Wilson and the young wing was on hand to tidy up. Scarborough then lost the services of Paul White: Ratcliffe moved inside and Andy Baird substituted on the wing.

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102a

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102a

With half-time approaching Barber continued his kicking heroics for the visitors landing a 40 metre penalty in the 37th minute to reduce the arrears to seven points at 21-14.

And ‘YM’ drew level in the 40th minute when some schoolboy defending in the ‘red zone’ saw a missed interception attempt allow Barber the space to stroll in and convert himself for 21-21.

Scarborough had the last word of the half when Harrison stroked over a penalty for holding on after the tackle for 24-21 at the interval.

With five tries scored in the first half things dried up somewhat after the break but the scoreboard kept ticking over; Harrison stretched the Scarborough lead to 27-21 with a penalty in the 42nd minute before penalties by the deadly accurate Barber in the 55th and 59th minutes levelled the scores at 27-27.

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102g

Scarborough RUFC against Huddersfield.Scarborough go forwards..Picture Richard Ponter 1140102g

Scarborough’s fluidity of the opening 15 minutes of the game seemed to have disappeared going into the final quarter and the midfield appeared to have gone into their collective shell and no one was talking or running the show.

The Seasiders lost their shape and although the game continued to ebb and flow the visitors looked the more likely of the two sides to score.

Barber had a rare miss with the boot when he sliced a penalty in the 70th minute but following pressure on the Huddersfield 22 when visiting No8 Mark Whithead was judged offside wide on the Scarborough left.

Harrison’s inch perfect kick from the touchline stretched the lead to 30-27 with five minutes of the game remaining.

Another big hit from Farrell stopped Lloyd in his tracks but referee Mr Scott penalized a Scarborough infringement on half-way.

Barber found touch five metres from the home line with the resulting kick and from a catch and drive flanker Neil Walker was driven over in the 79th minute: Barber put daylight between the sides at 34-30 with his conversion. And as last week that appeared to be that. Once more not so!

Huddersfield lock Josh Lumb fumbled the restart and from the resulting scrum, scrum-half Bill Freeman released Farrell to bullock into the visitors 22.

With the seconds ticking away Scarborough pressed on the home line under the posts, Paul Taylor eventually burrowing under a pile of defenders to score. Harrison stretched the lead to 37-34 with the kick.

There was time to restart the game but Scarborough controlled it from there to clinch four league points and a bonus point for scoring four tries: enough to move from fifth bottom to fourth in Yorkshire One.

It’s a nerve-racking pastime watching Scarborough these days, but never boring. They should have closed the game out at 21-8 in the first half but their lack of control and composure let YM back in.

There was no little effort from Dave Beck’s men, in fact maybe their over eagerness made their efforts overly frenetic.

They are still leaking tries and at times defenders seem to want to defend their own space and ignore the ball carrier.

However it’s such a pleasure to see so many thrilling tries scored and I for one am not complaining.

Up front the tight five bossed the scrums and line-outs with Ian Williams, Wayne Adams and Matt Else taking the eye.

Behind them James Ratcliffe, Harrison and man of the match Craig Farrell always looked dangerous.

And surely their youthful opponents should have got something from the game and won’t be propping Yorkshire One up for long.