Scarborough Vikings 31
With Scarborough’s Yorkshire One fixture with Bradford Salem postponed due to a frozen pitch at Shay Lane, rugby reporter Dave Campbell had a chance to take in the Vikings’ Merit Table fixture with visitors Goole at a chilly Silver Royd.
The Scarborough second string suffered an early setback when the visitors struck with only five minutes on the clock, a slick blindside move from first phase saw a couple of non-tackles allow flanker Jim Burrows to power over for a converted try and a 7-0 lead.
The Vikings took a while to settle and went close on a number of occasions as their forwards took control, however a lack of composure in the visitors’ 22 saw Goole maintain their seven-point advantage going into the second quarter.
As the half progressed the home side started to string some passes together and when the ball was moved wide in the 25th minute, left wing Andy Baird’s looping run saw him outstrip the cover defence to dive in wide on the left.
Fly-half Phil Stewart pulled his conversion and his side trailed 7-5.
That score gave skipper Rob Hazeldine’s men confidence and as the half progressed less and less was seen of the visitors in attack.
And a well-worked try saw the Vikings surge ahead just before the break.
A deft chip over the Goole defensive line saw centre Andy Hoff power through the middle, collect the kindly bounce and score between the posts.
Stewart added the extras for 12-7.
The Vikings maintained their grip on the game after the break with the home eight gaining ascendency in the battle up front and it was no surprise when they scored a push-over try under the posts converted by Stewart in the 52nd minute for a 19-7 lead.
From that point the home side looked completely in control, however it took until the final 10 minutes of the game for a decent Silver Royd turn-out to see another couple of well-worked touchdowns.
Constant pressure deep in the visitors 22 was repeatedly repulsed in the middle before the ball was transferred wide left for giant lock Wayne Adams to power over from 15 metres for 24-7 in the 71st minute.
And winger Andy Hoff ‘topped and tailed’ the game with a superb try in the dying seconds when he outpaced the Goole wide defence to get the touch on an inch-perfect chip through.
Fly-half Phil Stewart converted for a thoroughly deserved 31-7 win.
Elsewhere the Danesmen fought hard against a strong Pocklington 2nd XV also at Silver Royd.
However the visitors clinched the game in the second half with a well-worked converted try for a narrow 7-0 win despite a ding-dong battle to the end.