Scarborough RUFC bounce back with home win against Heath

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A capricious, swirling wind made things difficult for both sides at a blustery Silver Royd, but Scarborough conquered the conditions to score four tries and earn a bonus-point 20-12 win from a decidedly uninspiring home game against Heath.

The late withdrawal of hooker Ian Williams saw Mark Hopper take his place with Wesley Langkilde starting at prop.

Harry Domett, who was by no means the biggest man on the park, was his usual courageous self as he put his body on the line and took a battering for his trouble

Dave Campbell

The early stages of the game saw Heath take the game to the Seasiders, parking in their 22 and turning the screw at a series of catch-and-drives; however solid defence saw the early pressure repulsed and the Scarborough line remained intact.

Heath took advantage of the wind which now blew mainly from the north and some massive clearances from fly-half Ezra Hinchliffe pinned Scarborough in their own 22.

But when a clearance by Scarborough fly-half Tom Harrison took play to halfway, a floated pass in the visiting midfield just inside their own half saw flanker Eamon Chapman intercept and set off for the line.

The ball was swiftly moved right to left through several pairs of hands and wing Harry Domett finished the move with aplomb in the 10th minute for a 5-0 lead.

The touchline conversion attempt into the wind was too much for Harrison.

Stung by a try against the run of play, Heath redoubled their efforts and another Hinchliffe howitzer took them to the Scarborough five-metre line where they turned the screw.

A series of catch-and-drives had the Seasiders defending desperately on their own line and number eight Matthew Else was sin-binned for entering a maul from the side in the 21st minute.

The west Yorkshiremen looked to press home their numerical superiority in the scrum but the Scarborough seven defended as if their lives depended on it and Else returned to the fray with the visitors still pointless.

Scarborough did look dangerous on occasions when they could move the ball wide and several good moves up their right flank looked to bring wing Graeme Jeffrey into the game but difficult handling conditions conspired against them.

Running from deep, full-back Corey Dennis looked dangerous but the half produced no further tries and Scarborough led 5-0 at the break.

With Joe Marshall on for Jeffrey, and Nick Ingham for James Leach, Scarborough made a lively start to the second half and pinned the visitors deep in their own 22.

Although they were producing desperately slow ball for their lively back division the home eight matched the Heath pack in the forward exchanges and when the ball somehow shot out the back of a retreating scrum, Chapman pounced to drive over and score in the 57th minute for 10-0.

Harrison missed the difficult conversion.

That should have given the Seasiders breathing space but when they lost possession just inside their own half, some desperately poor tackling saw a posse of Heath players break down their right flank and centre Chris Sheldrake scored with ease in the 59th minute.

Hinchliffe failed to convert but it was game-on at 10-5.

Scarborough then came into their own as an attacking force and Domett, Dennis, Marshall and Chapman looked dangerous with ball-in-hand.

Domett, who was by no means the biggest man on the park, was his usual courageous self as he put his body on the line and took a battering for his trouble.

Dennis, whose elusive running has added an extra dimension to Scarborough’s attacking game, fielded a huge Heath clearance in his own half in the 70th minute and went on a mazy break which saw him round five visiting defenders only to be stopped on the Heath 22.

However his enterprise was rewarded two minutes later when he released Domett after another surging run and the flying Kiwi scampered in to stretch the lead to 15-5.

The Seasiders’ game management was then called into question when under pressure and leading by more than a score, they won the ball just inside their own 22 and tried to run it out of defence.

They infringed at a ruck and in play from the resulting penalty Heath prop Chris Piper crashed over between the uprights.

Hinchliffe added the extras to reduce the arrears to three points at 15-12 in the 74th minute.

Both sides had chances to clinch the game in what time remained before a looping run by Tom Harrison released Marshall, who was tackled short and Robinson drove over to put the issue beyond doubt at 20-12.

A squally wind made it a difficult day to play rugby and it was a poor game to watch.

However, it did produce six good tries, four of them for Scarborough, who picked up a bonus point as they bounced back from last week’s disappointment.

Pick of the forwards was Eamon Chapman, who tackled himself to a standstill, and young Hayden Ogilvie. Behind them Domett, Dennis and Billy Parker took the plaudits.