Scarborough take second win on the bounce at Pontefract

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Not for the first time this season Scarborough were involved in a thrilling high-scoring match which this time saw them run in six of the 10 tries scored on a blistering afternoon of 28C heat.

Showing great team spirit they came back from 37-25 down to score three final quarter tries and grab five league points.

Scarborough took an early lead with less than two minutes on the clock when centre Tom Ratcliffe pounced on a Pontefract fumble in mid-field, chipped through and gathered to power over wide on the right.

Fly-half Tom Harrison was unsuccessful with his conversion attempt.

Inside centre Craig Farrell carried on where he left off last week putting in some crunching tackles which saw a rash of dropped ball in the home midfield.

However when ‘Ponte’ managed to move the ball wide they had more leeway and when a superb break by winger Simon Spears was halted illegally in the visitors 22,

Fullback Andy Dean reduced the arrears to two points with the simple kick in the ninth minute.

Scarborough bounced back almost immediately with penalties in the 10th and 11th minutes from Harrison to stretch the lead to 11-3.

As the half progressed the home eight piled on the pressure on the visitors pack which was penalised for dropping the scrum.

However the visitors did boss the line-out with hooker Ian Williams and second row Wayne Adams in great form.

Pontefract then grabbed the try their pressure deserved when centre Paul Nowak fielded a misdirected Scarborough clearance and released winger Simon Spears who romped through some sloppy wide defence to score a fine try.

Dean added the extras to reduce the arrears to a single point in the 26th minute.

Pontefract joy was however short lived as two minutes later scrum-half Rob James stripped second row Matty Williams of the ball on the home 10-metre line stepped on the gas and scored between the sticks.

Harrison added the extras to stretch the Scarborough lead to 18-10.

Pontefract came straight back and twice shoved the Scarborough pack off their own ball at scrums but poor work by scrum-half Simon Fletcher saw him ignore overlaps on both occasions.

However the visiting mid-field kept on tackling with Farrell and Harrison in great form but when the west Yorkshiremen won possession just outside the Scarborough 22 a lovely delayed pass to Nowak saw the big centre pick a gap and glide through the visitors defence to touchdown between the uprights.

Dean converted to reduce the arrears to a single point and Scarborough lead 18-17 at the break.

Pontefract started the half with a bang and snatched the lead for the first time in the game, Andy Dean slotting a well-taken penalty when Scarborough drifted offside in the 42nd minute.

The seesaw nature of the contest continued four minutes later when fullback Graeme Jeffrey fielded a clearance in his own half, accelerated through the traffic leaving in his wake a posse of would-be tacklers before releasing Harrison to power over under the posts and converted to restore the lead at 25-20.

The excitement was by no means over and the Ponte pack pounded on the Scarborough line for fully five minutes before referee Mr Tovey ran out of patience and awarded a penalty try for persistent infringement.

Dean converted to nudge his side 27-25 ahead in the 52nd minute.

And the home side piled on the agony in the 56th minute with a try through the middle by Nowak converted by Dean who added a penalty goal on the hour for 37-25 and it did appear that that was matters settled.

Not so: the Seasiders struck back almost immediately with a fine try from Ratcliffe who danced through a flailing home defence to touchdown with Harrison making up the seven points for 27-32.

Scarborough tails were now up and when good work by Farrell and Harrison released Baird the young winger looked certain to score under the posts when he pulled up with a calf injury.

However a Pontefract fumble gave the visitors an attacking scrum and scrum-half James powered over to level the scores at 37-37. Harris goaled for 39-37 in the 67th minute.

Further pressure from the visitors took them into the home 22 following a raking kick from James and when the ball was moved infield, Harrison finished off a great threequarters move with his second try and converted for a 46-37 lead.

The excitement was not yet over as Dean cut the lead to 46-40 with a penalty in the 79th minute.

Pontefract appeared to have snatched a late equalising score with the kick to come in injury-time when wing Rob Nowak powered over in the corner. However play was pulled back for a forward pass.

And with the game going into injury team the home side were awarded a penalty close to the Scarborough line but Mr Tovey reversed his decision for backchat from a home player.

The ball was despatched to touch and Scarborough had won an amazingly exciting match of twists and turns with the twist in the tail going against home side.

On a sweltering day both sides did well to produce such a thrilling game. Scarborough struggled with wide defence but for the second successive week Craig Farrell was outstanding particularly in defence where he was immense.

With many enforced changes for this game the backs adapted well and a six try haul and a fighting comeback in the final quarter was testament to the spirit in the squad.

Tom Harrison’s workaholic performance kept driving his side on and he excelled with ball in hand and with the boot.

Up front the forwards struggled at times in the set scrums but dominated the line-outs and fared well in the loose with hooker Ian Williams, Matty Else, Adams and Phil Watson taking the eye.