Scarborough returned to winning ways with a 21-15 success at home to Barnsley on Saturday.
Scarborough made a positive start to their Yorkshire One game with relegation-haunted Barnsley at Silver Royd, scoring a well-worked try in the first 10 minutes.
However a first-half injury to in-form fly-half Phil Stewart saw an already injury-hit Seasiders lose the initiative for a while to a battling Barnsley side.
But skipper Phil Watson’s men stuck doggedly to their task and ground out a win which sees them regain the ground they lost in Yorkshire One with last week’s defeat at York.
Coach Jason Lowde’s men looked the more dynamic of the protagonists in the early exchanges with centre Craig Farrell in his first outing of the season, applying the afterburners to split the visiting mid-field on several occasions and drive deep into Barnsley territory.
With Tom Ratcliffe unavailable, Tom Harrison assumed kicking duties for the home side; however his first penalty attempt in the fifth minute was off target.
Farrell continued to cause panic in the visiting defence and when a surging run from deep took him to the Barnsley line; flanker Chris Purdy was on hand to finish off the move in the 11th minute. Harrison added the extras for 7-0.
Barnsley missed a chance to strike back just a couple of minutes later when Scarborough drifted offside on their own 22 in front of the posts. However wing Greg Colbridge missed the kick and Scarborough continued to press in the Barnsley’s final third of the field; surging breaks by prop Nino Cutino, hooker Luke Raines and Farrell were breaching the Barnsley defensive line with regularity and only a lack of composure and some spirited defending kept the south Yorkshiremen’s line intact.
However when a great break by Farrell was stopped by a high tackle from visiting number eight Dave Reed, Harrison kicked the long distance penalty for a 10-0 lead in the 29th minute.
The Seasiders should have increased their lead in the 38th minute when Cutino drove to the line from an attacking lineout but the ball was lost on the ground and the visitors got out of jail.
This heralded a period of Barnsley pressure deep in the home 22 and when Farrell was caught offside in front of his own posts, Colbridge reduced the arrears to seven points with the kick on the stroke of half-time.
Leading 10-3, Scarborough made a good start to the second half with Raines disrupting Barnsley with his line-breaking, bustling runs; however the aggressive front-rower fell foul of referee Rob Staines in the 49th minute when he showed dissent at one of his decisions and Colbridge, who was now in the kicking groove, landed the long penalty with apparent ease to reduce the arrears to four points at 10-6.
The operator barely had time to change the scoreboard when 90 seconds later the visitors were dispossessed in midfield and an exquisitely timed chip along the right touchline by Harrison saw young winger Matt Lucas sprint past a floundering Barnsley wide defence to gather and dive in for a classy score. Harrison shaved the upright with his conversion attempt.
With Billy Parker at fly-half for the injured Phil Stewart and Ian Williams and Mikey Readman on for Tom Fish and Charlie Hoggard Scarborough leading 15-6, had plenty of defending to do but thanks to some great close-work quarter by Farrell,
Raines, Cutino, Sam Warren and Chris Purdy much of this was done in the middle third of the park. However when Warren foolishly kicked the ball away in frustration after a refereeing decision, Mr Staines awarded the visitors a penalty and Colbridge did the business to bring the score back to 15-9 on the hour.
The fourth quarter of the game saw a rash of penalties; Harrison stretched the home side’s lead to 18-9 in the 62nd minute when the visitors were penalized offside just outside their own 22, Colbridge missed a kick when Cutino was penalised for playing the ball whilst off his feet in the 67th minute then Harrison appeared to have sewn the game up with a penalty for 21-9 with four minutes remaining.
However the south Yorkshiremen applied the pressure in the dying minutes of the contest and penalties from Colbridge in the 77th and 80th minutes earned his side a losing bonus point.
With a little more composure Scarborough could have been out of sight by half-time as their dynamic early efforts had Barnsley under the cosh.
Looking to run everything early on, the Seasiders were a handful; but after the departure of Stewart they lost their shape and appeared to funnel their efforts through the middle and looked predictable in their offensive efforts.
The south Yorkshiremen stuck to their task after the break but at no time did they get their noses in front or seriously looked like scoring a try.
Farrell in his first game this season made a great start and with more game time will be even more effective. Pick of the forwards were veteran Tom Fish, Cutino, Raines and Purdy with Harrison, Young, Lucas, Stewart and the hard-working Zybnec Schutz pick of the backs.
Scarborough: Harrison, Young, Farrell, Parker, Lucas, Stewart, Schutz, Cutino, Raines, Fish, Watson (capt), Hoggard, Purdy, Warren, Austen. Substitutes: Williams, Readman, Renwick.
Barnsley: Appleyard, Simpson, Buckingham, Gaunt, Francis, J.Smith, Cheetham, Hatfield, Wood, Norris, Harris, Robinson, Reed (capt). Substitutes: Iles, A.Smith, Wilson.