Scarborough Pirates played their first home game of the season with a hard-fought 28-26 win over York Lokos.
The Pirates welcomed back Jamie Cornish, Jack Johnson and Dave Douthwaite with all three men having big influences on the game.
The hosts started the game with some ferocious defence, causing the Lokos to lose possession of the ball as they couldn’t handle the pressure.
With the Pirates winning a penalty close to the Lokos line, Zac Metcalfe stepped up to score a trademark try, bundling over the line to put the hosts ahead 4-0 early on.
Scarborough then went further ahead after good defence in their half caused Lokos to again fumble the ball and Cornish was quickest to react, picking the ball up to race 60 metres and score under the posts before converting to put the Pirates 10-0 up.
Lokos then scored a well-worked try of their own in the corner that was converted to cut the Pirates’ lead to 10-6.
Scarborough then responded with another try of their own as good work from forwards James Love, Liam Braithwaite and Joe Messruther got the Pirates into good field position close to the Lokos line.
Hooker John Costine then finished off the hard work by ducking his way over the line, Cornish converting the make the score 16-6.
Then came the try of the game for the Pirates, fast hands from from the base of the scrum from Harry Sleep and Cornish put Carl Stephenson in space on the wing and he fed the ball ball back inside to Sleep, who drew the full-back and gave Toby Welsby an easy try under the posts.
The conversion was added and the Pirates led 22-6 at the break.
The second half started perfectly for the hosts, good work again from Stephenson on the right put Cornish in to race away to score.
He converted for 28-6.
This was how the scoreline stayed until the final quarter of the game, with Lokos’ fitness beginning to show.
The hosts gave away silly penalties and had a player sin-binned and Lokos clawed their way back into the game, scoring 20 unanswered points to set up a tense final five minutes, but the Pirates held firm.
Hooker Corey Goodlad impressed and was man of the match, forwards Metcalfe and Douthwaite led the side well with their work rate and captain Sleep led his troops well.
Coach Keith Paddock said: “It was a nail-biter. We were cruising at half-time and started the second half well, then 20 minutes from the end we hit the self-destruct button.
“I put it down to fatigue, but if you give eight penalties away in 20 minutes you’re going to get tired.
“Luckily we held on. It’s a nervous wait to find out who wins between Selby and Lokos to see if we make the final.
“I was chuffed with the lads for the majority of the game, but we have things to work on.”