Scarborough charge halted by ref injury

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Scarborough made the 150-mile round trip to Pontefract for what was to be their final away fixture of the season, but the journey proved fruitless as the game was abandoned in the first half with Scarborough leading 10-7.

This was due to referee George Richardson succumbing to an ankle injury and calling a halt to proceedings.

With the National Intermediate Cup semi-final in a week’s time this was the Seasiders’ last chance to hone their match fitness. However they got off to the worst possible start when Pontefract centre Robert Jepson latched on to a loose pass and galloped away to score between the uprights. Full-back Liam Kaye added the conversion and the league’s bottom club were 7-0 ahead with barely a minute on the clock.

With Tom Harrison and Tomasz Chadwick missing from the visitors’ line-up, skipper Tom Ratcliffe assumed the kicking duties and having spurned a couple kickable penalties to go for the corners, the big centre thumped over a long-distance effort in the seventh minute to reduce the arrears to four points at 7-3.

The visitors benefited from the return of pack-leader Nick Ingham in the second row and Taylor Smith, who took on the mantle of destroyer-in-chief from the injured Eamon Chapman in the loose forwards.

Pontefract conceded a string off penalties as the Scarborough forwards piled on the pressure and it was no surprise when scrum-half Martin Robinson powered over from close range in the 13th minute. Ratcliffe added the extras for 10-7.

Mr Richardson sustained an injury in the 21st minute but continued after treatment and strapping to his ankle. Minutes later a crunching Mikey Readman tackle earned a turnover and the big lock forward set up a slick move which only ended when the Seasiders were pulled back for a forward pass with the line begging.

Mr Richardson decided he was unable to continue and the game was abandoned in the 34th minute following consultation with both coaches. Apart from the early interception try, Scarborough looked the sharper of the sides with Ingham, Smith, Robinson and skipper Tom Ratcliffe the pick of the bunch.