A ring-rusty Scarborough side were blown away in the early stages of this North One game against Cleckheaton but a hat-trick of tries from new hooker Stuart Smyth almost turned the tide in a cracker in west Yorkshire this afternoon.
Starting with Matty Jones in the front row replacing Nino Cutino, who was struggling with a stiff neck and started on the bench; the Seasiders slipped 6-0 behind following a couple of Cleckheaton penalties.
However skipper Drew Govier’s men grabbed the lead in the 10th minute when hooker Smyth, on debut, crossed from close-range and fly-half Tom Ratcliffe converted for 7-6.
A somewhat undercooked Scarborough side were brushed aside as the west Yorkshiremen ran in four tries (three converted) from Mike Haywood (2), skipper Matty Piper and Jack Marshall in a dynamic first half performance to lead 32-7 at the break.
With Cutino on for young prop Joe Nellis and Chris Purdie replacing Will Rennard in the second row Scarborough took the second half to Cleckheaton from the re-start and turned the screw in a complete reverse of the first 40 minutes.
With Jordan Holloway replacing Purdy in the back row and Joe Marshall on for Connor Ward on the right wing the Seasiders ran in a further four tries from Smyth (2), Purdy and Jones to outscore the home side 22-0 in the second half.
Had the Seasiders had a more successful afternoon with the boot, they could well have completed a fantastic fightback to win. However their spirit and attitude saw to it that a game which looked dead and gone after 40 minutes, produced two bonus points.
Although disappointed with their sluggish start, Coach Simon Smith was buoyed by his side’s terrific second-half performance.
READ CHARLIE HOPPER'S FULL MATCH REPORT IN THURSDAY'S SCARBOROUGH NEWS