Scarborough recorded their third consecutive victory on the road with a committed performance in perfect conditions at Wath.
They controlled the forward exchanges with a re-shuffled but cohesive pack and scored three thrilling tries straight out of the top drawer with a performance of invention and pace from their backs who revelled in the warm, dry conditions.
The Seasiders made a lively start and were unrecognisable from the side which had struggled in the snow the week before.
A slick Scarborough move just outside the Wath 22, saw the ball deliberately knocked on and full-back Tom Harrison opened the visitors’ account with the resulting penalty for 3-0 in the fifth minute.
And young Joe Marshall, playing in his second first team game made his presence felt dumping Wath’s leading try scorer Steve Mason on his backside with a crunching tackle from the restart.
Wath looked to attack through the middle using their physically imposing back row but superb tackling from prop Nino Cutino, fly-half Phil Stewart, centre Benji Cottle and the ubiquitous Matty Else saw that the threat contained in the middle third of the paddock.
However, the visitors infringed 25 metres from their own line in the eighth minute, but Wath fly-half Tom Quinn’s low trajectory effort never looked like getting the south Yorkshiremen back on level terms.
Wath did turn the screw in their next incursion into Scarborough territory and spent some time in the Seasiders’ 22. However, a knock-on saw Scarborough get the put-in at a defensive scrum on their own five-metre line.
Cleanly won ball saw scrum-half Zybnek Schutz find Harrison in-goal but instead of kicking to relieve the pressure, the visiting full-back made a break stepping of his left foot before straightening up and releasing Cottle.
The young Kiwi’s surging run took him to his own 10-metre line where he fed Joe Marshall, who powered into the Wath half before cutting-in and passing to Harrison, up in support, to finish the move he started himself in the 17th minute.
Having instigated and scored what must be the try of the season he added the extras for 10-0 lead.
Much of the game continued to be fought out in the middle third of the field, but the visitors always looked the likelier of the sides to score next.
And when a break and kick ahead down the right flank by Graeme Jeffrey was fumbled by Wath’s Brett Small, the chasing Scarborough ‘posse’ got there first and the big wing secured the ball and strolled over. Harrison converted for a 17-0 lead in the 24th minute.
Skipper Phil Watson’s men didn’t have everything their own way and when Wath lock forward Jason Wignell was taken out in the air at a line-out, the resulting kick set up another lineout where the visitors infringed again.
And from the subsequent catch-and-drive scrum-half Joe Bartlett drove over in the 28th minute: he was apparently held up by two Scarborough defenders, however the referee, whose name did not appear in the programme, conducted an after the event peel-back of players and awarded the try.
Quinn missed the conversion but the lead was cut to 17-5.
Scarborough continued to have the edge and when Wath for the second time were penalised for the professional foul of a deliberately knocking-on, Harrison kicked the penalty for a 20-5 Scarborough lead which they took to the break.
Scarborough consolidated after the interval and although Wath looked a different prospect in the second half, the Seasiders never looked like losing their grip on the game.
Cottle, Cutino and Joe Marshall were a constant danger to the home side but Scarborough had their fair share of defending to do and appeared to relish the physical challenge.
Harrison did have the chance with a long-distance penalty head on to the posts in the 55th minute but the kick missed.
Wath intermittently laid siege to the Scarborough line during the fourth quarter but never managed to breach the well-organised visiting defence.
Lee Douglas’ charges lost the services of Stewart with an injured ankle and Harrison moved up to 10.
With the side re-shuffled Jeffrey moved to full-back and Nightingale took his place on the wing. And the makeshift wide-man was immediately in action when he was released up the right touchline and despite a cover tackle from full-back Joe Thompson, touched down.
However, Nightingale was adjudged to have stepped into touch and Wath cleared their lines from the resulting lineout.
Scarborough made sure of the points in the 77th minute when Harrison released Jan Teiber just inside the Wath half and he sprinted away to score his first try of the season in a first XV shirt and was mobbed by his delighted teammates. Harrison converted for 27-5.
Flanker Andy Beardsall managed to cross the whitewash for a consolation try deep in injury time and Quinn’s barren afternoon was completed when he missed the conversion with the last kick off the match.
Scarborough’s erratic form continued with this controlled performance full of exciting rugby and tries which was light years away from the woeful fare offered up the previous week at Silver Royd.
It was a spirited team performance based on solid defence and swift attacking from deep.
Wouldn’t it be marvellous if they can produce more of the same in front of the Silver Royd faithful in the remaining two games of the season