This was perhaps one of the greatest games the third team have played this season against the strongest Danesmen outfit Scarborough have fielded all season and indeed a few weeks earlier the thirds had a comfortable win against them.
Having topped the merit league this was a play off semi and the way these two teams played it would have graced the final as these two teams slugged it out in sunshine and showers under the watchful eye of a referee sporting a Driffield top. Malt had a surplus of players and unlike normal merit games they could only field 5 subs and so resisting temptation to field a few ringers the thirds stuck to their guns and stood by regulars and so the likes of Duncan Hunphrays,Jody Stead
, Harry Owston
, Adam Todd
, Phil Scaling
, sean ward
, Seymour Butts, Marcus Lyon
, Willie John McBride and jack cranage
had to watch from the side lines and thanks to them all for accepting the decision with grace. As it was Malt chose to field all their subs by half time whilst some Danesmen were unused.
The thirds welcomed the Danesmen and so too did Malt seconds who recognised a few sparring partners from earlier games and from the off Scarb had Malt pinned back but tight defence pinned them back. Malt attacked and using their back row of Will Smith
, Ollie Hall
and Rob Hopkinson
and second rowers Charlie Read and Andy Boothman to good effect ground a route to the visitor’s 22,the backs were set loose with Simon Massey
and Dave Cash
impressive in the centres and with wingers Matt Bell and George Lumley
they had pace to attack. Scarborough’s defence was Viagra like, a lot stiffer than the last time they played, but constant pressure was building up which lead to the referee having no option than to award a penalty which Matt Williams slotted over and Malt had a slender 3-0 lead.
Scarborough hit back and their wily old stand off created a try of beauty with a double miss move with his backs and a fine try was scored. The conversion was missed and half time came with the score 3-5.
Malt had Pete Hopkins on the bench who earlier replaced Les Paliser who was in excellent form and the other four subs, Phil Coe, Squelsh Welsh, Marc Sleightholme and Marty
Nordli all came on and all made an impact, Welsh with a superb tackle and Coe on the wing with a scorching run.
Liam Cowton at scrum half played a blinder and his link up play with number 8,Hopkinson set up a wonderful break by Hopkinson who cut the visitor’s defence in two ,Cash and Massey in support kept the move flowing but scrambled defence held up the ball.
Next up full back Sean QUINN
took an inside pass from Williams and on the burst fed Massey but again despite a great run no try resulted. Scarborough though attacked and using a rather novel Pin Ball move their Wizard at stand off ran into his own man but as Williams was clearly blocked from making the tackle he bounced off and scored much to the amusement of the crowd who all said Penalty. The ref said Try and so the Pinball Wizard extended Scarborough’s lead. Malt brought Andy Boothman back into play for a final assault on the try line and constant Malt pressure saw Skipper Dave McDowell and the original sinner from Scarborough take a 10 minute break but Malt ploughed on as the forwards under the stewardship of Cowton pounded the visitor’s line. Tony Watson
with a pick up a drive fell short, then Sleightholme, then Massey and Cash. McDowell returned and from half way burst through and fell just inches short.
The whistle went and defeat was accepted, it was tough on the thirds that played their part. The backs showed a massive improvement on weeks of old and the forwards against the older and heavier visitor’s pack even took ball against the head. Scarborough though were better in the line out ,however it was perhaps their Pinball Wizard that won them the game.(To any younger readers please do not attempt the pinball move as running into your own man accidently or deliberately is a PENALTY)
A big thanks to all who played, wanted to play but had to watch and those who just watched. Good luck to Scarborough in the final and hopefully your pinball wizard will choose rugby over Golf.
On a musical note after singing Pinball Wizard cutting my grass I thought of a classic number by Belfast’s finest,Stiff Little Fingers which sums up the third’s season as I saw it and the song Wait and See goes a bit like this:-The last two verses have been doctored to a greater degree as they could give the impression I am retiring from the game....
Wait And See (Amended lyrics)
In September we thought we were great
Tho' no other teams agreed
Just you and I wasting our time
Playing rugby but quite badly
And they said we played some crap
Cos we didn't play as a team
But we just told them 'Wait and see'
We had some old shirts and some worn out balls
Trying to get some gear
We had no stand off and a grey haired scrum half
Our play making was grim
And they said we should give up
Said we didn't have a hope
And Dave still told them 'Wait and see'
We worked harder got better in every way
Got some under 19’s involved
Pretty soon we found we knew how to play
We'd got all our problems solved
But I swear to this day
We could find our winning ways
But I told myself 'Wait and see'
Then came the day we played at Pock
We tried to smile but had to cry
The ref was so bad he never looked at his watch
But we hung on for a win
And topped the merit league.
In the playoff we met the Danesmen
And everything that might have been
Their bald stand off was lucky with a try
If you’d been there you’d have seen
But the ref he was from Driff’
Now there's no turning back
Now all your future's 'Wait and see'
You're not good enough, You're not good enough
You're not good enough to be a third team
They told us
But we're not giving up, We're not giving up
We're not giving up
We'll show them
Thanks to Jake Burns for the inspiration to this blatant plagiarism.