Resurgent Scarborough entertained a big turnout in perfect rugby conditions at Silver Royd, running in five thrilling tries for a 33-13 win to complete a league double over high flying Wath.
Wath kicked off and camped in home territory for the opening five minutes of the game; pressure saw the Seasiders concede three penalties in as many minutes and centre Ashley Rotherby stroked the third over from in front of the posts for a 3-0 lead in the fourth minute.
This early advantage was short lived however; and four minutes later Scarborough scored what was probably the best try of the match when they moved the ball from their own 22 the length of the field to score.
Starting with full-back Corey Dennis; Tom Harrison, Tom Ratcliffe and Rob Sutton cut a swath through the Wath defence and Billy Parker scored at the other end for a 5-3 Scarborough lead.
Scarborough looked to keep the ball in hand and go through the phases but poor execution limited their ambition and as the game went into its second quarter neither side could gain the ascendancy in a pretty unstructured period of play.
However, there was always a buzz in the crowd when Corey Dennis was in possession and his running from deep was causing panic at times at the heart of the visiting defensive line.
And when the young full-back run the ball from his own 22 in the 24th minute; slick handling in mid-field saw prop Luke Raines burst clear of a flat visiting defence and sprint to the line. Ratcliffe added the extras for a 12-3 lead.
Skipper Phil Watson’s men were on a roll and a deft kick along the right flank found Ratcliffe, who released wing Matt Lucas, who chipped on, gathered and touched down in the 27th minute. Ratcliffe converted for 19-3.
A rash of penalties, mostly at the breakdown were awarded by Mr Hayne who, had he patrolled the offside line and put-in at the scrummage with the same vigour as he did the rucks, could have helped a stop-start encounter to flow.
Scarborough almost stretched their lead further with five minutes of the half to go when great work by Dennis released Nino Cutino to go thundering down the right flank.
A try seemed to be on but some great cover defence from Wath full-back Rob Booth and centre Andy Hopkin saw the South African prop dragged down inches short of the line.
The south Yorkshiremen stuck to their guns and pegged Scarborough back on the stroke of half time; a lineout was won on the home 22 and some great driving by the visiting forwards was rewarded a couple of phases later when Hopkin crossed on the stroke of half-time.
Rothery missed the conversion and Scarborough led 19-8 at the break.
Wath probably had their best period of the game in the first 10 minutes of the second half where they turned the screw down their left flank and the Seasiders conceded a string of penalties under pressure; from a catch and drive ten metres out, they drove diagonally infield and prop Brendan Angel crossed on the open side near the posts in the 48th minute. Ashley Rothery inexplicably missed the easy conversion and it was a six point game at 19-13.
A scrappy but at times exciting middle-twenty of the second half saw a rash of unforced errors by both sides who lost composure in a frenetic battle in the middle of the field. Scarborough, in particular over elaborated going forward but couldn’t be faulted for effort.
Full-back Corey Dennis was a thorn in Wath’s side all afternoon and the noise level was raised every time the young student took on the visitors big men. Luke Raines was at his bustling best and from a break in midfield the Scarborough front-rower released Zbynek Schutz who scampered off to cross for the fourth bonus-point earning try. Ratcliffe added the extra two for a 26-13 lead in the 70th minute.
Schutz should have had his second try five minutes later when a great break by Billy Parker released the Czech Republic international but he contrived to spill the ball with the line at his mercy.
And the irrepressible Tom Ratcliffe rounded of an entertaining afternoon on the stroke of full time when he hit the line at pace to scythe his way through a bemused visiting defensive line to touchdown in typically flamboyant style for his 17th try of the season.
The big centre completed a 13 point personal tally with the conversion for a 33-13 Scarborough win.
Coach Jason Lowde’s charges were full value for their bonus point win although they did blow hot and cold at times.
Raines, Cutino, Ingham and Phil Austen took the eye up front whilst the backs were a far more penetrative unit than their opposite numbers with the youthful back three of Dennis, Matty Young and Matt Lucas in fine form.