Dave Campbell reports on a thrilling finale to the 2018/19 season Smith’s men lift silverware
Scarborough completed a record-breaking double defeating Old Rishworthians in the Yorkshire Challenge Shield.
OLD RISHWORTHIANS 27
Scarborough completed a record-breaking league and cup double after defeating Old Rishworthians 41-27 in the final of the Yorkshire Challenge Shield.
In front of a huge turnout where Scarborough supporters were very much in the majority, Rish had the better of the early forward exchanges and took a 3-0 lead in the fifth minute when fly-half Josh Kelly kicked a penalty from the Scarborough 10-metre line.
Looking much the more positive side, Scarborough were not to be denied for long and a sweeping move started by centre Billy Parker ended with flanker Aaron Wilson sending left-winger Harry Domett over in the ninth minute.
Stand-off Tom Ratcliffe converted for 7-3.
The Seasiders were buzzing and bustling breaks by hooker Sam Dawson, centre James Perrett and full-back Tom Harrison tested the west Yorkshiremen’s resolve.
However the next Scarborough score came following a five-metre scrum wide on the right.
From his own put-in, Rish scrum-half Joe Billing hesitated at the base and his opposite number Jordan Wakeham nipped in to score in the 16th minute.
Ratcliffe’s touchline conversion dissected the uprights for a 14-3 lead.
Scarborough infringed following Old Rishworthians’ re-start and following a period camped on the Seasiders line, hooker Chris Stone barged over in the 19th minute.
Kelly added the extras to cut the arrears to four points at 14-10.
Skipper Matty Jones’ men continued to play all the positive rugby against a side whose main tactic when in possession in their own half was to hoof the ball as far downfield as possible.
It was therefore no surprise when the men from Silver Royd stretched their
lead, right-wing Matty Young acted swiftly to capitalise on Rishworthians’ indecision on their own line to kick on and diveinforasuperbopportunist try in the 24th minute.
Ratcliffe just missed the kick but Scarborough led 1910.
Matty Jones was taken out in mid-air fielding the restart and the miscreant was sin-binned for his trouble.
Some slick-handling rugby from Scarborough was thwarted as several final passes failed to find their man, but a powerful, surging break by Parker initiated a flowing move and Perrett released number-eight Ben Martin to cross wide on the left, then cut in and ground between the uprights in the 39th minute.
Ratcliffe converted for a 2610 interval lead.
The start of the second half was pretty uneventful as Old Rishworthians continued to play with a lack of ambition which seemed strange for a cup final.
Even kicking a free-kick to touch and handing possession back to Scarborough at the subsequent line-out.
It was no surprise then when Scarborough stretched their lead just before the hour. Harrison chipped over a flat defence, but the bounce eluded him only to be gathered by Perrett, who sprinted away to score between the posts in the 59th minute.
Ratcliffe converted for 3310. Game, set and match to Scarborough? Not a bit of it.
At last the men from Calderdale woke up and gave it a real go, starting with wing man Anthony Shoe smith scoring wide on the left in the 61 st minute to reduce the arrears at 33-15.
The Seasiders then lost the services of lock forwards Matty Oxtoby and Phil Watson, who were sin-binned for infringements defending near their own line in the 64th and 65th minutes.
This was followed by a yellow card for Jordan Wakeham and it was game on.
And when the 12 men of Scarborough ran out of defenders in the 70th minute, Rishworthians went over once more from close-range.
Kelly uncharacteristically missed his second consecutive conversion, but it was now a 33-20 game.
And even with Oxtoby back on, the 13-man Seasiders struggled against their resurgent opponents and the agony was further piled on when, following a massive defensive effort including outstanding work by back-rowers Aaron Wilson, Drew Govier and Ben Martin, Rishworthians squeezed over from close range.
Kelly converted for 33-27 in the 77th minute, three minutes to go and less than a converted try between the sides.
However, with all three players out of the sin-bin, Scarborough took control and regained their shape and composure in the final few minutes.
Ratcliffe slotted a penalty in the 78th minute to stretch the lead to 36-27, before the peerless Paul Taylor on at tight-head prop, out-foxed a tiring Rish defence to touchdown in the right corner in injury time for an unassailable 41-27 lead.
Ratcliffe missed the conversion with the final kick of the game but his teammates had already started the party.
From left, coach Simon Smith, skipper Matty Jones, reporter Dave Campbell, Tom Ratcliffe and Tom Harrison celebrate winning the Yorkshire Shield Pictures by Andy Standing
Matty Oxtoby holds aloft the Yorkshire Shield
Euan Govier and Jonty Holloway show off the silverware
Matty Young (above) and James Perrett (below) attack the Old Rishworthians line