1500hrs at Heslam park and it was perfect Rugby weather, soft ground, slight breeze and the sun was out. Let the game commence, Selby kicking off and playing into the sun first half. From the kick off it was evident it was going to be a rough day at the office for both teams.
For the first 10mins of play it was Selby on the attack, using their large experienced forwards to do the hard work and their backs looking very dangerous with ball in hand. If it wasn't for Scunthorpe's excellent defence play Selby would have been in front within the first 10mins.
15mins into the game the first error was made as Selby knocked on resulting in a scrum to Scunthorpe. The 3rd team pack has been dominant so far this season and today proved no different, pushing the Selby pack back at a rapid rate.
Play continued with Scunthorpe on the attack, the experienced Mick Coult calling the shots and constantly putting the Greens on the front foot but Selby were up to the task putting in some hard tackles. Selby were also proving that they were good at contesting for the ball in the rucks, albeit illegal on some occasions that the ref failed to spot.
The next wave of attack came from the Greens as Coult found Matty Ellis who made a good strong run in midfield. The ball was then recycled quickly to try machine Sass who managed to go over the try line only to be tackled just before he grounded the ball……………was it going to be one of those days ?
The play was pretty much even with both sides making good runs and then some awesome tackles being put in too. The next turning point in the game was after a driving maul from the Scunthorpe forwards. The ball was again recycled out to Sass who crossed the line for a second time in as many minutes. Unfortunately he was again judged to have lost control of the ball before the grounding. It was commented from various people watching the 1st team game that it was in fact a try, but as the ref was on the wrong side of the ball he had to make his decision on only what he saw.
The next 5 or so minutes of the game was relatively even, with the likes of Nath Clarke, Nay Turner and Chris Redmile making some good runs in the pack as well as Matty Ellis and the 3rd teams top try scorer Rick Lee in the centres. Scunthorpe were rewarded for their efforts with a scrum deep into the Selby half. After a huge drive from the Scunthorpe pack the ball was collected by scrum half Dave Westhead who then dived over the line, scoring his first try of the season. Kicking duties were taken up by the excellent kicker that is captain Ian Lee who struck the ball majestically through the uprights from the touchline. 7-0 half time score.
Scunthorpe to kick off, with them playing with the sun in their eyes. Not long from the restart Selby were awarded a penalty and they cleared there 22 and sent the ball out just near Scunthorpe's 22 (the few extra yards were gained as the lines man was in fact the Selby manager/coach). The ball was secured by the Selby pack in the resulting lineout and they set up a driving maul which to good effect helped them to record a good forwards try. With the conversion going over also. 7-7.
Scunthorpe seemed to have kicked up a gear and started to play the better rugby, making hard yards and protecting the ball in rucks, in particular Redmile, Mather and Clark covering every blade of grass in order to compete at the breakdown. They were now using the quick ball and Coult was able to bring the backs into the game, if he didn’t spot an opening himself he allowed one of his team mates the opportunity.
Again the Greens hard work paid off when they were awarded a penalty just near the half way line, Ian Lee stepped up to take the penalty, resulting in the ball sailing straight through the posts. 10-7.
Scunthorpe's defence was then tested as Selby came back at them with flair and determination, but they could not find a way through the solid defence. Selby were then awarded a penalty deep in the Scunthorpe's 22, this was an opportunity for the Selby fly half to catch Scunthorpe players asleep as he made a wild pass to his inside centre who trotted over the line unopposed. It certainly looked a forward pass but the ref seemed to be in a better position and awarded the try, the conversion points were also taken. 10-14.
It was the turn of the boot of Ian Lee to get Scunthorpe out a hole. Scunthorpe were awarded another penalty in a similar spot to the last one. Ian Lee did his usual of shouting like a child for his kicking tee and some water............the 3rd team never gets bored of hearing that, as we normally end up with points on the board after he has kicked. This time was no different with the ball sailing through the posts yet again. 13-14.
Some excellent scrummaging from Scunthorpe's front row of Turner, Aldridge and Mychajluk proved to be too much for Selby as they were being pushed back at every scrum. The next turning point of the game was when Matty Ellis took the ball on and made some fine yards only to be taken down inside the Selby 22. With Westhead providing quick ball to Coult he in turn found Ian Lee with a delightful pass after brother Rick ran a great dummy line to split the Selby defence. Ian then guided past 3 would be tacklers to score a great try under the posts and converted his own try. 20-14.
With Scunthorpe continuing to play in Selby's half and piling the pressure on them, a ruck was formed close to the try line. The ball was passed to Ian Lee who looked like he was going to run with it then looked up at the posts and decided to go for a drop goal, yet again resulting in it going through the centre of the posts. 23-14.
A fine game of rugby which saw Scunthorpe come away with another win, making it 10 out 10. Full credit must go to to Selby who proved to be a hard team to beat and certainly played their part in an entertaining fixture.
Man of the Match award went to Ian Lee, scoring 18 points out of the 23 points scored.
Scunthorpe 3rd's are at home next Saturday to Wharfedale 3rd's.
Report by Nathan Turner