Driffield arrived at Silver Royd looking to jump above their hosts in North One East and regain top spot. Ben Dinsdale was ruled out on Friday with a return of his back injury, which meant Kelly started in the centres and Jackson came off the bench to start on the wing – Soanes took his place on the bench.
After all the recent rain, most were expecting a heavy pitch but the Scarborough pitch was in great condition. A large crowd listened to pre-match music and the announcer ran through both teams as they arrived on the pitch.
Driffield took the kick off and started well, running through phases to make good ground, only for a couple of passes to go to ground when chances looked to be opening up. Both sides tried to gain territory, with kicks pushing each other back. On 8 minutes, Dench received the ball and made good ground until he was caught by a couple of Scarborough players. Scarborough’s no 7 picked Dench up through the horizontal, and Dench landed on his neck resulting in a penalty to Driffield on Scarborough’s 22. The referee had a decision to make with Dench still on the ground, and spoke to the Scarborough captain and No 7, handing him a yellow card. Dench eventually got back to his feet, and Watts kicked the penalty. Scarborough 0 – 3 Driffield.
On 15 minutes Scarborough won a penalty and kicked for goal, but it went wide. Driffield’s Longville collected the missed kick and, sensing an opportunity, made a break beating a couple of Scarborough’s defenders before sending a pass to Blacker. This was intercepted by a Scarborough player who made yards towards Driffield’s try line, before his off-load was collected by a Driffield player who took the ball to ground. From the resulting ruck Longville looked to clear the ball into touch, but his kick was charged down and Scarborough collected the bouncing ball. They made a couple of drives for Driffield’s line, but the Driffield defence held strong. Finally, Scarborough won a scrum on the Driffield 5m line, passed the ball to the right. They recycled quickly and went right again and Holloway got through the defence to score, and Ratcliffe converted. Scarborough 7 – 3 Driffield.
Driffield restarted play with a deep kick off – a bit too deep as it bounced into Scarborough’s dead ball area. The full back touched it down for a 22m restart, and the drop kick restart barely crossed the 22 line before being collected by a Boro player – the referee judging the ball had crossed and gone back into the Boro 22. Scarborough went through a couple of phases before clearing into the Driffield half. Longville again collected the ball and went on attack mode, passing a few Boro tacklers before off-loading to Dinsdale who had Jackson outside him in space, but Dinsdale knocked on.
The game was tight, both sides still trying to get on top, with Driffield just about edging it. Driffield were handed a penalty after the referee pulled Scarborough up for crossing in midfield. Longville kicked for the corner and, from the lineout,
Brumfield hit his man. The Driffield pack set up a rolling maul, making a couple of metres before coming to a stop. The ball was spun wide, Dench lit it up and made yards through the middle, before quick recycling gave Watts time and he hit Cullen at full pace who crashed over for Driffield’s 1st try. Watts missed the conversion. Scarborough 7 – 8 Driffield.
Robson made his entrance on 26 minutes to replace Maling. Driffield were looking sharp, happy with possession and looking threatening. Once again a Scarborough kick was collected by Longville, and he looked to attack – Scarborough struggled to get to him most of the afternoon. He passed a couple of defenders before off-loading to Kelly and, with a 2-on-1, he drew his man and passed to Jackson. The pass went to ground and the chance was lost. Driffield got their deserved 2nd try on 35 minutes. Longville again made the break, quick recycling gave Watts time again, and this time he passed to Dench at full tilt. It took two or three defenders to halt him, leaving Driffield spare numbers to the right. They moved the ball right, but were held up 1m short. Robinson organised a couple of Driffield attackers to the right, but dummied and gave the to pass hitting James Dinsdale, who stretched out an arm to score the try. Watts missed the conversion. Scarborough 7 – 13 Driffield.
On 38 minutes, Scarborough’s new Aussie prop made a break down the clubhouse side. The Driffield defence got to him, and brought him to ground. Unfortunately he picked up a serious injury in the tackle and half time was called early while an ambulance came to deal with him. The injury was bad enough that the player couldn’t be moved, and it looked as though the game might be moved to one of the back pitches. It was 40 minutes before play resumed, with the sun was leaving us, taking the light and what warmth there was with it. The flood lights came on, and play restarted.
Like the first half, it took a while for play to settle down. On 49 minutes, Scarborough were awarded a penalty and kicked to the corner. They set up a catch-and-drive and made a few metres. Driffield defended well, but Boro made a couple of breaks which just pushed the defence to breaking. Eventually the ball came wide and Govier had enough space to cross the line out wide. Ratcliffe converted from a tight angle. Scarborough 14 – 13 Driffield.
Dench had been having one of his typical afternoons, but received a nasty knock on 51 minutes and was forced to leave the pitch. Soanes came on for him and Driffield went on the attack again. After good phases the ball was shipped to the club-house side and found Blacker in space. He beat a few tacklers before being grounded by a high tackle. Watts took it quickly, but the referee called it back to be retaken and he took the 3 points on 60m. Scarborough 14 – 16 Driffield.
Scarborough restarted, kicking the ball deep into Driffield’s half but they Driffield fumbled the collection, handing possession to Boro. They went through a few phases, looking dangerous but finding Driffield’s defence solid. Scarborough knocked on giving Driffield a scrum on the 22, but Scarborough got a nudge on. With the Driffield pack going the wrong way, the referee reset the scrum, but this time Boro put in. From the scrum, Boro attacked to the left to get through to within 10 m of Driffield’s try line. Driffield conceded a penalty for not moving away, and Boro’s 9 took the penalty quickly to cross the try line but the conversion was missed. Scarborough 19 – 16 Driffield.
Scarborough looked threatening, but Driffield the defence held. Driffield won a line out just inside their own half and won the ball, but the 1st carrier was tackled and the ball turned over. The referee spotted the Boro tackler was offside and gave Driffield a penalty, which he then reversed for Driffield back-chat. Scarborough kicked to the corner, winning their lineout. Instead of setting up a maul, they moved the ball wide, with their centre hitting it up in the midfield. Driffield’s defence is penalised for not releasing, this time on the Driffield 22 and Scarborough elected to go for goal. Ratcliffe made a good connection and the ball sailed through the posts. Scarborough 22 – 16 Driffield.
Driffield restarted, looking to get back into the game and get the next score. The restart fell short, and Boro won the ball and start rumbling forward. After a couple of pick-and-gos and a crash-ball from the centre, they are back in Driffield’s half.
They set up a ruck just outside the Driffield 22, the ball was sent out and Ratcliffe hit a drop goal which just made it through the posts. Scarborough 25 – 16 Driffield.
Driffield restarted again looking to win the ball back. Again, Driffield managed to give away a penalty, and this time Boro kicked for the corner, looking for the bonus point try. They set up a catch-and-drive and, for the 1st time in the afternoon, they got it moving. Their hooker broke off to dive over for the 4th try, and Ratcliffe again converted. Scarborough 32 – 16 Driffield.
Looking back on the game, it is hard to say how Scarborough managed to get 16 points ahead. The break for the injury maybe helped Scarborough, as Driffield looked very good up to that point – they had been well and truly in the game. The reversed penalty and drop-goal changing the momentum of the game. Driffield will be disappointed not to get the win, never mind not gaining any points from the game. Driffield will now move on and start preparing for the visit of Percy Park to Kelleythorpe next weekend. 2.15 KO.
DRUFC send our best wishes to the injured Scarborough player – we hope you have a speedy recovery.