The Vikings started Saturday at the top of the table and after a hard fought game at Silver Royd, the young Scarborough side managed to hold on to top spot by denying a hungry York team a bonus point win.
With a number of key injuries and absences to senior players, in particular the lack of an experienced forward pack with Rob Dean, Russ Wilkie and Alex Sharpe battling injuries it was always going to be a tough task as the Minstermen really made the most of their extra weight.
The game started brightly enough with the Scarborough backs happiest with ball in hand with Billy Parker, standing in at 10, getting over the gain line again and again, mirroring the aggressive approach of the Vikings’ usual fly-half Phil Stewart, who is hopeful of making his return after a lengthy injury in the coming weeks.
The deadlock was broken after a series of York attacking scrums in the Vikings 22.
And after a number of resets and last ditch tackles on the line, York eventually got their reward.The conversion was missed.
A scrappy game was not helped by some questionable calls by the man in the middle and the game became a series of strong defensive tackles and penalties for both teams.
The Flying Viking Jack Anderson was doing his best to inject some pace from the back line but York’s defence held firm.
York’s next score came again from set-piece dominance at the scrum and with the conversion landed, the visitors led 12-0 at half-time.
Scarborough’s stand-in skipper Richard Scales did his best to get his young team fired up for the second half.
It seemed to work with the inclusion of evergreen Guy Woodward and some strong running by brothers Steve, David and Ian Rawling, Scarborough soon got on the scoresheet with a beautifully struck penalty from Alex Rowley, who backed up the kick shortly afterwards with another fine strike from a penalty to bring the game back to 12-6.
York came back with a penalty of their own, and as hard as Scarborough continued to batter the York defence, they held firm.
With the score 15-6 to the travelling team, the next score was going to be crucial.
A charge down from a Scarborough clearance led to ball shooting back over the home team’s try-line with the referee somehow deciding a York hand got to the ball first.
With a missed conversion, the away team led 20-6 and that is how the game finished.
With such a young and inexperienced side at that level, it was great to see such commitment and effort from the Vikings across the pitch with Toby Welsby, Anderson and Rowley having stand out performances.
Scarborough hold on to top spot in the league from York, who ultimately deserved the win.