Scarborough slip to Huddersfield defeat

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Scarborough’s reshuffled side, with Graeme Jeffrey and Phil Stewart drafted into the centres to bolster the mid-field, stuck to their task against a good young Huddersfield YMCA side that top Yorkshire One but conceded five tries as they slid to their fourth consecutive defeat on the road.

As has been their wont this season the Seasiders were slow out of the traps and conceded a try with only a couple of minutes on the clock.

Kicking off into the wind they lost possession and YM left winger Lloyd Bentley carved his way through a flimsy defence to release centre Gavin Stead to power over and add the extras for a 7-0 lead.

Scarborough struck back with only two further minutes elapsed when great work down the middle took them to the home line and prop Nino Cutino crashed over, wing Tom Ratcliffe converted to level the scores.

Scarborough scrummaged solidly but the west Yorkshiremen used the conditions to their advantage playing much of the game in Scarborough territory where the visitors defended with resolve; particularly Corey Dennis in unfamiliar territory at fullback.

However, YM deservedly edged ahead in the 14th minute when, following a penalty awarded at an attacking scrum, they secured the ball from the resulting lineout and flanker Sam Hodge was driven over. Stead pulled his conversion attempt wide.

The second quarter ebbed and flowed but Huddersfield had the bulk of possession with the wind behind them. Good work by wingman Matty Young almost sent Dennis to the line before scrambling home defence kept the Scarborough fullback out. Dennis had to get swiftly back to defensive duties and saved the day at the other end with a big hit on Whitehead. Scarborough appeared to have weathered the storm but conceded in the third minute of first-half injury-time when the YM forwards drove to the line and Whitehead got the touchdown. Stead converted for a 19-7 halftime lead.

The visitors made a bright start to the second half but lost the services of Tom Harrison within minutes of the restart and Stewart moved to ten with Charlie Hoggard deputising in the centre. That was probably the turning point in the game for although they continued to graft, the Seasiders missed their influential fly-half. Even against the elements Ed Barber was bossing the game and a magnificent 45 metre break by the Huddersfield YMCA number ten should have produced more but his final pass went astray. For Scarborough, Czech scrum-half Zbynec Schutz was having an industrious afternoon and a good blindside break from an attacking scrum took the visitors deep into YM territory.

The game was effectively killed off with a couple of tries for the west Yorkshiremen in the 60th and 62nd minutes; good work by Stead on the hour released right wing Tom Bullock to scored an unconverted try in the corner then a couple of minutes later a swift break by Ed Barber released Whitehead to gallop over for his second try of the game. Stead made it 33-7 with the conversion. Scarborough never threw in the towel and were awarded a penalty try which Ratcliffe converted when YM were penalised at a Scarborough attacking scrum over their line in the 73rd minute. Trailing 14-33 breaks by Jeffrey, Ben Wilson and Ratcliffe could have brought a third try for the visitors in the closing stages but it wasn’t to be.

With only one win since September 15, Scarborough will be glad of next week’s break from league action which will give them breathing space to regroup and rest Ben Wilson and Tom Harrison.

The scrum worked well in this game but they will to have to continue to concentrate on their lineout which just hasn’t been working. On a difficult day, pick of the backs were Corey Dennis and scrum-half Zbynec Schutz while Luke Raines took the plaudits in unfamiliar territory at hooker.