1st XV v Scarborough
Big crowd sees York beaten in second half.
Match Report by Ian Hessay with Photos by Rob Long.
York welcomed Scarborough to Clifton Park with a strong wind blowing down the pitch. With 8 front line players still out injured, taking on the league leaders was always going to be a difficult task.
Scarborough kicked off into the wind and quickly gained possession retaining the ball well and putting York under sustained pressure. The York defence was sound and consistently frustrated the Scarborough attack. After 8 minutes York secured a turnover and ran the ball back over half way winning a penalty. With a strong wind behind, Jon Dawes went for the posts from 50m falling just short. Scarborough continued to dominate the ball until on 18 mins York managed to secure possession on their 22 allowing Liam Hessay to clear beyond the half way line. It was now York’s turn to attack and put Scarborough under pressure. After good work by the forwards the York backs showed good handling and straight running lines to put George Davies in for the first try with Dawes missing the difficult touch line conversion. York continued to dominate; Hessay was showing good tactical kicking skills to keep Scarborough pinned back in their own half. Shane Goulding and Will Scholey continually broke the line with some powerful running and Joe Simpson tackled everything that moved. On 25 mins Goulding broke through the Scarborough line and passed to Rob Hodges to score in the corner. This time Dawes made no mistake with the conversion 12-0 to York. Hodges was unfortunately injured scoring, Ben Dent who had been causing the Scarborough defence lots of problems with some intelligent running from centre, moved to the wing disrupting York’s attack just when they needed to score more points before turning into the wind.
York kicked off the second half into a strong wind and Scarborough immediately signalled their intent with Ratcliffe kicking them into good field position. After 45 mins a good move by Scarborough put Wilson in for their first try with Ratcliffe adding the extras. From the kick off York managed to secure possession with Goulding and Dent running strongly at the Scarborough defence eventually forcing a penalty under the posts which Dawes converted. 15-7 to York. With the wind at their backs Scarborough started to dominate possession and field position, a penalty from Ratcliffe brought the score back to 15-10 quickly followed by a flowing move from the Scarborough backs allowing Wilson to score again with the conversion missed. 15-15. It didn’t take long for Scarborough to register again this time through Parker with Ratcliffe adding the conversion. York were struggling to contain the Scarborough backs who were relishing the front foot ball created by their forwards. York were however sticking to their task with Scholey putting in numerous big tackles. Scarborough scored their final try and conversion on 75mins. To their credit, York finished strongly with Hessay taking quick ball from Toby Atkin to step through the Scarborough line from half way only to be pulled down 5m short, the Scarborough full back received a strange yellow card not the first odd decision of the day and the York pack drove over for Lewis Hannibal to score. 20-29 to Scarborough.
Scarborough look to be in a strong position to secure back to back promotions providing they can avoid more injuries. York desperately need some of their injured players back to secure their place in North East 1 for next season. On a positive note, former York City Knights rugby league convert Ben Dent is starting to show his quality following his switch to union.