Lowde’s men suffer York defeat in last home outing of the season

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Following last week’s five try demolition of Wath, Scarborough looked to conclude their home campaign with a win over York at Silver Royd.

However they never managed to harness the elements to their advantage in a turgid first half and led 3-0 at the break. The Minster-men dominated the second forty minutes through their powerful pack and ran out comfortable 16-6 winners of a somewhat stop-start affair.

Playing with a brisk southerly breeze behind them Scarborough took the game to the visitors in the early stages with fly-half Tom Harrison and centre Tom Ratcliffe using the wind well with a series of hefty touch-kicks to take play deep into York territory.

However their poor ball retention at the breakdown saw some good field position squandered.

The Seasiders did look attractive with ball in hand as they have done all season but gifted far too many turnovers in the tackle.

The underemployed scoreboard operator was at last called into action in the 17th minute when York drifted offside 35 metres out and Ratcliffe kicked the resulting penalty to nudge the home side 3-0 ahead.

The second quarter of the game saw Scarborough make several excursions into York territory with Harrison, fullback Corey Dennis and Ratcliffe making some hard yards.

A surging run deep into the visitors’ 22 by Ratcliffe on the half-hour saw them infringe as they tried to halt the big centre’s progress; however his penalty attempt was unsuccessful as was a couple of efforts from York full-back John Dawes and a largely forgettable first half drew to a close with Scarborough 3-0 to the good.

With the wind behind them York took control at the beginning of the second half and were awarded a penalty for an infringement at a ruck 20 metres out. Dawes failed to improve on his zero first half tally.

However the visitors were now dominating the set scrums and apparently wheeling and driving the home eight back at will. And they took the lead in the 46th minute when referee Mr Lindsey penalized Scarborough for an offence at the tail of a defensive lineout; scrum-half Matt Dudman took a quick tap-penalty and scampered diagonally right to left across the home 22 and released wing Eddie Bradshaw to power over in the corner for 5-3.

Dawes failed to convert but made amends six minutes later when he nudged his side 8-5 ahead with a penalty awarded when Scarborough infringed just outside their own 22.

With the game going into its final quarter Scarborough were finding it increasingly difficult to get out of their own half due to pressure up front and the increasing southerly wind.

However on a rare incursion into York territory the home side crept offside in midfield and Ratcliffe reduced the arrears to a couple of points with a long-range penalty. And an extended stay saw skipper Phil Watson take a great crash ball and power deep into the 22; however possession was surrendered and York gratefully cleared their lines.

With a two-point lead at 8-6 their only reward for a good second half performance, York turned the screw and No8 Willem Enslin crowned a great outing when he drove over on the blind side from the base of an attacking scrum in the 71st minute.

Dawes once more missed with his difficult touchline conversion attempt but was on target to clinch the points with a penalty five minutes from the end when Scarborough were offside between their 22 and 10 metre lines.

Although they stuttered against the elements York showed the form that has seen them loose only two games since last November.

Their powerful pack with props Hepworth and Rutherford in fine form and No8 Enslin running the show, dominated the second half and were the cornerstone of their win.

Scarborough battled throughout and although they struggled up front they dominated the lineout which was their best source of possession. Phil Watson, Nino Cutino and Nick Ingham were the pick of the forwards, however behind them the backs struggled due to a lack of clean possession with perhaps Matty Young, Corey Dennis and Graeme Jeffrey the pick of the bunch.