Champs Driffield crush Scarborough

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Driffield 80 Scarborough 0

Scarborough were blown away by a superb Driffield side who scored within a minute of the start and clinched the Yorkshire One championship with 12 tries, nine of which came from a back division oozing pace and power.

And the tone for the afternoon was set when the Woldsmen secured the visitors kick-off; livewire scrumhalf Harvey Harding scampered up the right touchline untouched by human hand and centre Clayton Masina completed the move to touchdown with only 45 seconds on the clock.

The Seasiders failed to secure the re-start and were immediately under pressure from a superb home midfield of fly-half Jordan McGregor and centre pairing of Masina and skipper Robin Kitching. Scarborough did have a couple of chances to snatch the lead through Tom Ratcliffe penalties but the big centre pulled both efforts wide. Crunching tackles by Phil Stewart, Luke Raines, Nino Cutino and Corey Dennis stemmed the tide but an incisive break by Kitching carved through the visiting defence and prop Simon Pettinger crashed over in the ninth minute. Kitching converted for 12-0.

The Woldsmen didn’t have things all their own way and Scarborough looked to attack down the flanks but solid defence held sway. However it only delayed the inevitable and the home side stretched their lead to 19-0 in the 21st minute when the ball was moved blind from an attacking scrum in the visitors’ 22 and veteran winger Ali McClarron crossed wide on the left. Kitching added the extras for 19-0.

The Seasiders held their own at the set scrums but the lineout was a very flappy affair; however they had their best period in the game in the second quarter and with a little more guile and composure could have got themselves back in touch; Raines, Parker, Cutino, Stewart and the ubiquitous Dennis took on the Driffield defence but too often the ball carrier looked to run through a man rather than offload. Harding was sin-binned in the 33rd minute and the visitors redoubled their efforts to take advantage of their numerical advantage but Driffield held firm and they turned around with Scarborough 19 points adrift.

Restored to full strength just after the break Driffield trampled all over Scarborough’s hopes of making a game of it and from the 48th minute when the magnificent Kitching scored the first of a second half hat-trick of tries, it was a procession. Kitching added his second in the 52 minute and this was followed by tries from fullback Danny Smith in the 56th minute then a penalty try. A second touchdown for Masina on the hour was followed by tries from second row Oliver Borman, wing Lester Bell and Kitching’s third substitute Chis Sadler complete the rout in the 79th minute. Kitching added seven conversions with Jordan McGregor converting Sadler’s effort.

Star men for the Yorkshire One champions were centres Clayton Masina and Robin Kitching, the former with some lovely looping runs which created a plethora of overlaps and the latter whose incisive running and unerring accuracy with the boot produced a personal tally of 33 points.

Scarborough were undoubtedly a reshuffled and weakened side on the day and they were certainly not the first team to be turned over in such a fashion by a superb Driffield side.

On the day their work at the many restarts left much to be desired and the breakdown and lineouts were real problem areas. However they stuck to their increasingly exhausting task to the end and couldn’t be faulted for effort. After what was a very positive start, including the defeat of Driffield on the first day, it was a more than disappointing end to their campaign. There is always next season.

Scarborough: Dennis, Jeffrey, Ratcliffe, Parker, Rollinson, Stewart, Schutz, Goodman, Raines, Cutino, Ingham, Readman, Warren, Sutton, Hoggard, Substitutes: Lowde, Burgess, Young.