Scarborough RUFC'S Tom Ratcliffe hoping for home play-off clash

Tom Ratcliffe
Tom Ratcliffe

Scarborough RScarborough RUFC’s Tom Ratcliffe is hoping a big crowd can roar them to a rousing victory over Bradford & Bingley in their final North One East match of the season on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.

Ratcliffe and his teammates are likely to need a big win to try and secure home advantage for their promotion play-off against North One West runners-up Blackburn RUFC, who are on home soil against Douglas from the Isle of Man.

Scarborough and Blackburn have 95 points with almost identical records, but the men from Silver Royd have a better points difference by just three.

“The supporters have been fantastic this season and it’d be great to be able to have the play-off game against Blackburn in front of them,” said Ratcliffe.

“We always get great support at home, but we’ve had plenty of away matches where we’ve had better support than the home team, so I’m sure we’d take a good number of people over if we do end up with an away game.”

Ratcliffe believes the hosts can’t be too gung-ho too early looking to improve their points difference, but must stick to the game plan that has served them so well throughout a hugely successful campaign.

“Smithy (Simon Smith)will be telling us to stick to the game plan and that will be important,” added Ratcliffe.

“We beat Bradford & Bingley earlier in the season, but they were a new team and a bit disjointed.

“No doubt they’ll want to come here and get revenge. They put 70-plus points on Malton the other week, so they’re a more than capable side.”

Ratcliffe admits he’s been left surprised by how well the team have taken to life in North One East, given that their objective at the start of the season was merely to consolidate after promotion from Yorkshire One.

“I thought we’d struggle a little bit after promotion, but we’ve played well and whatever happens on Saturday, the season has been a huge success,” said Ratcliffe.

“I think we’d all be a little disappointed if we don’t get promoted now.

“We’ll give it our all and hopefully that will be enough to seal another promotion.”

Entry is £6, with Under-18s getting in for free.