Scarborough RUFC hit the road for North trip

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Scarborough makes the 200-mile round trip to the far reaches of North Yorkshire tomorrow to take on Settle-based club North Ribblesdale in Yorkshire One.

Having had points deducted for playing an unregistered player early in the season Ribb have languished at the bottom of the league for much of their campaign.

However they have shown signs of a revival recently with four consecutive wins including two on the road where their travels had been fruitless since the start of the season.

This purple patch has come off the back of a nightmare run in which they won only one game in 11.

It seems an amazing reversal of fortunes; is it players returning from injury, new additions to their playing staff, or just a new backs to the wall attitude at the club? Whatever it is, it turned a 30-8 defeat at Heath earlier in the season to a remarkable 74-20 home win against the same outfit three weeks ago.

Last week they travelled to fellow strugglers Pontefract and came away with a resounding 32-3 win which moved them off the bottom of the table.

One of the defeats in Ribb’s 11-game losing streak was a 27-12 reverse at Silver Royd back in mid-November when tries from Matt Lucas, Nick Ingham, Jesse MacDonald and Tom Harrison ensured a bonus point win for Scarborough, who had fallen behind to a try from visiting fly-half David Fox earlier in the game.

Influential wing Harry Domett returns to action tomorrow as he has recovered from a finger injury which kept him out for two games as does Taylor Smith, who has been back in New Zealand for a wedding.

Starting on the bench will be young James Leach.

Jordi Wakeham, who hobbled off against Middlesbrough and Corey Dennis who returns from a nagging hamstring injury are both in the Vikings tomorrow.

Tight-head prop Paul Taylor has also been nursing a hamstring injury and hopes to be fit for next week’s Intermediate Cup quarter-final as does utility forward Charlie Hoggard. The coach for Settle leaves Silver Royd at 10.15am.

The biggest surprise from last week’s round of Yorkshire One fixtures was Malton’s 22-14 defeat at Selby, their first since September 29 last year.

Maybe the writing was on the wall following the close-run game with Scarborough the week before. However, the men from The Gannock will not be caught in the run-in to the end of the season and are guaranteed a play-off place for promotion to North One East.

With North Ribblesdale having moved off the bottom and having home advantage tomorrow, their fellow relegation candidates Wath and Pontefract are on the road at Malton and Old Brodleians respectively; I expect a home win in both games.

Nearer to home the Danesmen take on Withernsea at Silver Royd with the Vikings travelling to Huddersfield YMCA.

All games kick off at 3pm.