Scarborough’s poor run continues with agonising Old Brods’ defeat

Scarborough's Matty Oxtoby is stopped in his tracks during their 22-20 defeat against Old Brodleians at Silver Royd. Pictures by Andy Standing.
Scarborough's Matty Oxtoby is stopped in his tracks during their 22-20 defeat against Old Brodleians at Silver Royd. Pictures by Andy Standing.
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Scarborough crashed to their sixth consecutive league defeat of the year in a five-try thriller played in perfect conditions for rugby at Silver Royd.

Old Brods bossed the game with a slick display of close-support play and offloading in the tackle and should have had the game sewn up going into the final quarter.

However, a late resurgence by the Seasiders should have clinched an unlikely victory, but a combination of bad luck with a late drop-goal which hit an upright and some poor decision making at the death saw the west Yorkshiremen hold on for a narrow but deserved victory.

Old Brods went off like a train and laid siege to the Scarborough line in the early stages; stout defence kept them at bay but following several forward drives and phases of play prop Loma Kivalu drove over for the opening try of the game in the 13th minute.

Full-back Danny Wood missed the conversion but Brods deservedly led 5-0.

Scarborough struck back almost immediately, when from set-piece on the Brods 10-metre line the ball was moved infield by fly-half Phil Stewart to centre Craig Farrell, who powered over from distance between the uprights in the 16th minute. Full-back Tom Ratcliffe added the extras to nudge the Seasiders 7-5 ahead.

Prop Nino Cutino fielded the re-start and drove forward but was isolated and penalised for not releasing and Wood kicked Brods 8-7 ahead with the penalty.

The Seasiders re-took the lead five minutes later when another break and bullocking run from Farrell was illegally stopped and Ratcliffe nudged his side 10-8 ahead with the resulting kick.

Wood had a chance almost immediately to restore Brod’s lead when Cutino was penalised for holding on after the tackle, but he pulled his penalty attempt wide.

Scarborough struggled to repel strong running prop Kivalu and bulky centres Nathan Scott and Sam Deacon and some last ditch tackling kept them at bay for a while, but when Deacon left Ratcliffe and centre Benji Cottle floundering in mid-field an offload sent fly-half Liam Scott over to the left of the uprights in the 34th minute. Wood added the extras for a 15-10 Brods lead.

A powerful driving maul up Scarborough’s left flank was collapsed three minutes later and Ratcliffe kicked the difficult wide penalty to reduce the arrears to two points in Brods favour at 15-13 on the stroke of half-time.

Old Brodleians had dominated most of the first 40 minutes with some great close support play and slick offloading in the tackle and they continued in the same vein at the start of the second half.

They looked as if they might blow the Seasiders away and it was no surprise when some woeful tackling saw centre Nathan Scott surge over following some powerful running in the Brods mid-field. Woods converted for 22-13 in the 48th minute.

The west Yorkshiremen totally dominated the next 15 minutes and but for some crunching tackles from Farrell, Matty Else and Harry Domett, they would have overwhelmed the home side.

Kivalu and No8 Rob Jennings were immense for the visitors, who just lacked the composure to put a shell-shocked Scarborough away.

Going into the last 15 minutes of the game Brods faded and Scarborough started to win possession at the breakdown.

Powerful runs from Kiwi wing Domett down the right flank and breaks by Cutino, Farrell and scrum-half Zybnek Schutz was putting pressure on Brods deep in their own half.

And when a break into the visitors 22 by Schutz created a gap, Farrell powered over in the 74th minute. Ratcliffe converted to bring his side to within a couple of points of the visitors at 20-22.

Scarborough then played by far and away their best rugby of the match with some great support play and incisive running in the visitors 22.

Farrell, Cutino, hooker Mark Hopper and Domett went close and when the ball was won at a ruck it was moved to Ratcliffe in the pocket.

His sweetly-struck drop-goal attempt looked to be sailing over but hit the very top of the left upright, bounced back into play and was cleared with two minutes left on the clock.

A superbly angled break from Cottle in injury time looked certain to produce a try as the visitors ran out of tacklers, but the young Kiwi completely ignored a four man overlap and was stopped inches short; the chance and any hope of winning the game had gone.