Depleted Scarborough RUFC need Ribblesdale success

Struggling Scarborough take on visitors North Ribblesdale at Silver Royd tomorrow knowing that only a win can get their season back on track and end their flirtation with the wrong end of Yorkshire One.

By Dave Campbell
Friday, 14th November 2014, 11:57 am
Corey Dennis, above in action against North Ribblesdale a couple of seasons ago, returns to the team as the two sides meet at Silver Royd on Saturday
Corey Dennis, above in action against North Ribblesdale a couple of seasons ago, returns to the team as the two sides meet at Silver Royd on Saturday

Things could have been so different; when you analyse their record so far, the fact that four of the Seasiders’ six defeats were by four points or less you realise the margin between success and failure can be agonizingly slender.

And to further add to their woes, injury and unavailability has taken its toll since the 26-24 reverse at Middlesbrough a couple of weeks ago.

Fly-half Tomasz Chadwick, who turned in a man-of-the-match performance on Teesside before he was injured, in-form hooker Ian Williams and utility back Graeme Jeffrey are all on the injury list; and Phil Watson is still missing with an injury sustained last spring.

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Away from the treatment table, inspirational wingman Harry Domett is serving a club ban following his sending-off at Acklam Park, Billy Parker is unavailable and Joe Marshall should be on Yorkshire duty.

So Saturday’s starting 15 will probably be announced shortly before kick-off and will depend on how training goes and any dramatic improvement among the walking wounded.

However, good news for coach Lee Douglas is the availability of Corey Dennis, who has struggled with re-occurring injury this season.

North Ribblesdale are only two points and two positions adrift of Scarborough in the league because of their geographical location and the distances they have to travel for away fixtures.

They have excelled at home and struggled away; losing at Old Brods, Heath, Malton, Doncaster Phoenix and York on the road and disposing of Middlesbrough, Hullensians, Bridlington and last week Pontefract (29-10) at their Grove Park ground in Settle.

The last meeting of the clubs at Silver Royd last October saw the game end in dramatic fashion with Scarborough coming back from 18-11 behind with a converted Blake Nightingale try to level the scores on the stroke of fulltime.

A penalty from Ribb’s’ Steve Moon edged his side 21-18 ahead in injury-time before a Tom Harrison effort levelled the scores with the last kick off the game.

Elsewhere on Saturday the Vikings travel to Huddersfield YMCA with the Danesmen also on the road at Hessle.

With the impending re-organisation of league rugby which could see clubs who are relegated from Yorkshire One struggle to regain their level seven status, a speedy reversal of fortunes at Scarborough is imperative, starting with the defeat of North Ribblesdale at Silver Royd on Saturday.

Keighley handed Bridlington a walkover in last week’s Yorkshire Shield second round tie which is good news for Scarborough, who will entertain the men from Dukes Park at Silver Royd on December 20.

A big pre-Christmas crowd should get the festive season of with a bang.