Scarborough slid to their fourth consecutive league defeat at a damp, draughty and sparsely populated Silver Royd; however at times they produced some good rugby in a hard-fought encounter with a Selby side which just had the edge on the day.
Scarborough kicked off in almost identical weather conditions as last week, winning the toss and taking advantage of the stiff southerly wind blowing down the paddock.
And fly-half Tom Ratcliffe’s howitzer-like boot was soon pinning the visitors deep in their own territory with a series of massive line kicks.
Harnessing the elements Scarborough used their kicking game to keep them deep in Selby territory where they won a series of lineouts; however their inability to win vital first-phase possession from this particular set piece saw them fail to take advantage of their territorial possession.
Returning centre Craig Farrell used his strength and experience to master the soggy underfoot conditions to pressure the visiting defence with a series of bullocking breaks, one of which took him into the 22 where the visitors infringed after the tackle and Ratcliffe kicked the penalty for a 3-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Scarborough were bossing the set scrums at this stage and when Selby infringed when the home eight struck against the head, Ratcliffe made it 6-0 with the resulting penalty in the 14th minute.
Unlike last week when Durham/Northumberland One side Guisborough struggled mightily against the elements, a well-organised Selby moved the ball well using the wind to hold up their short mid-field passes.
And when Scarborough infringed on their own 22 full-back Josh Cruise kicked the penalty from in front of the posts to reduce the arrears to three points in the 17th minute.
Although both sides coped well, handling was difficult in the conditions and for most of the time running rugby was not an option.
Ratcliffe had a chance to stretch the home lead in the 24th minute when Selby were pinged for not releasing but the difficult wide penalty slid across the face of the posts.
The lead was extended three minutes later when a Scarborough scrum marched their opponents back to their line and scrum-half Zybnek Schutz powered over. Ratcliffe added the extras for 13-3.
Shocked into action, Selby re-doubled their efforts and put together several good handling moves with rangy fly-half Dan Porter his half-back partner Neil Francis and centre Teihana Brown in the thick of it.
It was all hands to the pumps for the Seasiders with Farrell, Joe Lenton and Matty Else and his busy back row colleagues heavily involved.
Something had to give and when a Scarborough player crept offside in front of the posts Cruise reduced the arrears at 13-6 with the penalty in the 34th minute.
The visitors continued to press and when a massive clearing kick by Ratcliffe went dead at the other end, Selby had a scrum on the Scarborough 22. From the ensuing play fly-half Porter almost made it to the line and when the ball was recycled it was moved wide to left wing Charlton McCoy who strode over in the 40th minute. Cruise couldn’t make the difficult conversion and Scarborough led 13-11 at the break.
A turnover saw Scarborough press from early in the second half and only solid Selby defence and a lack of composure prevented a score.
However, having weathered the storm the visitors came back and only a great tackle by Ratcliffe stopped inside centre Alex Arthur from scoring.
With the wind behind him a clearance from Porter gained his side good field position in the Scarborough half.
From a subsequent line-out the ball was moved infield and the big number ten released flanker Sam Cruise to crash over in the 51st minute.
Brother Josh added the conversion for Selby to lead for the first time in the gate at 18-13.
The cracking pace continued with skipper Phil Watson’s men looking to get back into the game and breaks from stand-in full-back Harry Domett, centre Benji Cottle and the irrepressible Farrell pressured a Selby side which never found things plain sailing with the wind behind them.
But when the equalising try came it was through the forwards, No8 Else powering over following a catch-and-drive in the 59th minute. Ratcliffe failed to convert from the touchline and into the wind and the teams stood at 18 apiece
Equality for the Seasiders was however short lived and when a Selby chip through was fumbled on the line by Schutz, Brown was on hand to score a very soft try. Josh Cruise struck his touchline conversion beautifully for a 25-18 lead in the 63rd minute.
In a thrilling fourth quarter as Scarborough once more strove for an equalizing try, breaks by Cottle, Nightingale, Farrell and Ratcliffe just couldn’t produce a score, while at the other end winger Ben Hunt went close for Selby.
Josh Cruise settled the matter in the visitors favour with three minutes to with a well struck penalty to stretch their lead to 28-10.
Scarborough played their full part in a game played in very difficult conditions with Ryan Pickering, Phil Watson and Matty Else pick of the forwards.
Behind them Farrell, Ratcliffe and Domett shone in the backs.
SCARBOROUGH: Domett Teiber Cottle Farrell Lenton Ratcliffe Schutz Goodman Hopper Cutino Watson (capt) Readman Purdy Hoggard Else SUBSTITUTES: Pickering Nightingale Lucas