A wet and windy Silver Royd was the setting for the Area Six (Yorkshire and North East) Shield semi-final on Sunday as Scarborough’s Under-15s girls hosted a strong Sandal side.
Despite the difficult conditions, both sides thoroughly entertained the large crowd of supporters who braved the elements with a fine display of competitive rugby.
After going behind to an early Sandal score, the Scarborough girls got into the game and laid siege to the Sandal line for the rest of the first half.
With Scarborough’s forward pack getting on top the pressure told as Kate Allan powered over for Scarborough’s first score of the match.
It was testiment to the defensive efforts of both sets of girls that this was the final score of the first half which finished 7-5 in the away side’s favour.
Scarborough started the second half in bright form and a number of punishing drives led by Katie Unna and Issy Evans gained good field position.
After being held up over the line on two occasions Scarborough changed tactics to go wide with good handling from the backline resulting in Bronnie Adams being held up just short.
From the resulting scrum, centre Ellie Smith cut a fantastic line to scythe through the Sandal defence and score under the posts.
Allan safely converted to take Scarborough into a 12-7 lead.
Spurred on by going behind Sandal went on the attack and scored a try to level the game at 12-12, leaving the game finely balanced going into the final 10 minutes.
The greater experience of the Sandal team was now showing as they camped in the Scarborough half for the rest of the game.
Most neutrals would have expected them to go on and win the game, but in perhaps the best rearguard defensive display ever seen at Silver Royd, the Scarborough girls repelled wave after wave of attacks, tackling as if their lives depended on it and holding Sandal at bay to secure a 12-12 draw at the final whistle.
The result was a fair reflection of the game as both teams played some excellent rugby.
Sadly, due to an RFU technicality, Sandal progress to the final virtue of having scored first in the match, but this should not detract from what was a great advert for the girls game, and a fantastic performance by Scarborough.
Allan was awarded the player of the match award, but in truth this could have gone to the whole team, who showed tremendous spirit and teamwork.
The Under-13s girls were also in action in a friendly against Sandal, and although coming out on the wrong end of the 7-4 scoreline, they put in their best performance of the year against one of the strongest sides in Yorkshire.
Tries came from Emily Hazeldine (2), Daisy Edwards and Emelia Forbes, but like the Under-15s side, the whole team put in a great display.