SATURDAY’s performance at high-flying Keighley will have given Scarborough heart for the visit of Ilkley to Silver Royd tomorrow.
Not for the first time this season the Seasiders led for almost all of a thrilling encounter only to concede a try in the last five minutes of the game.
However, in this case they struggled with only 13 men for a quarter of the game due to a Luke Raines injury and the dismissal of Craig Farrell.
The former rugby league star was sent off by referee Dave Lindsay for taking matters into his own hands when teammate Chris Purdy was having a pretty good impression of a Flamenco dance performed upon his head at the bottom of a ruck.
The choreography was described as ‘a bit of a shoeing’ in a Yorkshire Rugby forum last weekend but I don’t think the Scarborough team saw it that way!
Having led 18-3 when at full strength in the first half, skipper Nick Ingham’s men had a chance to win the game in injury-time when the home side conceded a penalty on their own 22 and pretty much in front of the posts.
Tom Ratcliffe, who has taken over the kicking duties since Tom Harrison, was injured, just missed the kick and Keighley scraped home 20-18.
Hard luck on the big centre who earlier in the game scored his 20th league try of the season for the club and added a further six points with the boot.
For tomorrow’s visit of Ilkley, Corey Dennis returns on the wing with Marcus Edwards coming in for Craig Farrell at inside centre; Luke Raines has recovered from injury and plays.
Jason Lowde, Phil Watson and Robert Squire are on the bench.
The Scarborough disciplinary committee have banned Farrell for two weeks ahead of his disciplinary hearing with Yorkshire.
Last week was the first time that he has been sent off in a rugby match in either code.
The Seasiders probably turned in their poorest performance of the season in a 24-0 defeat by Ilkley on the day the west Yorkshiremen opened their new clubhouse back in November; however they haven’t been so hot on the road lately, losing all of their last five away games.
Perhaps they are keeping their powder dry for next week’s semi-final of the National Intermediate Cup when they take on Stoke RFC.
Elsewhere last week in the Yorkshire One title race there were wins for leaders Pocklington, second-placed Driffield and Bridlington.
Tomorrow is a very important day in determining who moves up to North One East with Pocklington entertaining Bridlington who will look to avenge a 17-3 home reverse earlier in the season and Driffield on the road at Pontefract also looking to gain revenge for an 21-18 home defeat in the corresponding game at Kelleythorpe before Christmas.
Fourth-placed Keighley are away at North Ribblesdale.
Automatic promotion will go to the champions of Yorkshire One and Durham/Northumberland One with the runners-up in both leagues contesting a play-off game for the second promotion spot.
Silver Royd will be busy tomorrow with three senior teams in action. Scarborough v Ilkley in Yorkshire One, the Vikings take on Hull Ionians and the Norsemen entertain York.
All three games kick off at 3pm.