Scarborough Pirates put up brave fight against leaders Leeds Akkies

Scarborough Pirates rugby league
Scarborough Pirates rugby league

An injury-ravaged Scarborough Pirates rugby league team finished their season with a 52-18 loss at home to league leaders Leeds Akkies.

The hosts went into the Yorkshire Men's League Division Two game severely weakened, picking up injuries to key players from the previous week's three games in seven days, losing Nicky Brining (ankle), Nathan Hakings (hand), Mark Campling (broken arm), James Flemming (ankle), Joe Hollliday (shoulder) and Carl Stephenson (knee).

A couple of past players have stepped in over the last couple of games, Dave Byerley, Anthony Axham and Jake Messruther, to help the Pirates field a full side.

The hosts started the game well, holding the league leaders out for 17 minutes, before the Akkies centre found a gap and cleared 20 metres for a try.

That started the rampage, Leeds scoring a further four tries just before half-time.

Then the Pirates' Zac Metcalfe jumped into dummy-half 10 metres out and picked up the ball then ploughed his way over line with five defenders unable to stop him.

The lack of subs was showing in the second half with Leeds finding small holes in the tiring Pirates defence and Scarborough threw some good shape at the Leeds defence and found the line with centre Toby Welsby, then again with big loose forward Tom Read running over the top of his opposite number to score.

Coach and chairman Keith Paddock said: "At the beginning of the week I knew we were struggling for numbers as last week we played three games in seven days. That took its toll on us, losing eight players in all.

"But the lads knew we were going to be understrength and we wouldn't have any subs but were adamant about finishing the season off. I have nothing but admiration for the lads that put on a shirt for the club today."

Paddock added: "Leeds are a very physically fit and a young, strong side, normally university lads. So It was always going to be hard for our lads who were still recovering.

"They give it their all this week and although the scoreline doesn't show it we were dominant for large patches of the game especially the first 20 minutes. Jake Messruther, a past player for the club, stepped in today and played a blinder.

"Next year we will regroup and look at who we have and decide where to go. I'd just like the thank each and every player that has put on a shirt this year, the people alongside me on match days and the running of the club and last of all the supporters that turn up week in week out.

"The lads have enjoyed it and are looking forward to going again next year."