Scarborough Colts 10 Scunthorpe Colts 13
Matthews to the rescue for Scunthorpe Colts.
On Sunday January 22nd , Scunthorpe Colts played travelled to North Yorkshire to play Scarborough Colts with a noon kick-off. In damp and cold conditions, the Greens were indebted to the boot of number12, Jess Matthews, for first levelling the match at 10-10 with ten minutes to go with a sublime drop goal, and then later coolly slotting over the winning penalty with three minutes left. A gritty team performance in a close fought battle,
The early exchanges were mainly dominated by Scarborough from their kick-off as Scunthorpe were penalised time after time. A penalty for offside in front of the posts had the hosts take the lead 3-0 after only three minutes. This constant penalising affected their line speed all throughout the game, and was a major factor in allowing Scarborough the freedom to run with the ball.
Scunthorpe responded well and, when inside the home side's half, they struck back beautifully. A touch finder to the corner by Matty Boden had the Greens advancing. The old team of Matthew Mason throwing in and Skipper Lewis Meyer dominating lineout was evident for the first time, and would be all game. Taken in and driven forward, the maul seemed to stop short until the forceful Mason added his power and got it moving again allowing livewire hooker Jack McGrath to peel away and touch down. Converted by Boden, 3-7.
The rest of the half ebbed and flowed but was littered with penalties and errors. Time and time again, promising positions were squandered after great individual play was not rewarded. A Lewis Meyer ball steal, a Devon James kick and chase, a George Taylor deft chip all came to nothing as the team could not capitalise. Scarborough had their moments too, as their big runners were devastating at times. Excellent work in the middle from Stephen Wormald and Number 8, Kristian Martin, was needed and the cover tackling on the flanks from George Taylor was superb. Maybe not firing on all cylinders in attack, the talented fly-half defence was often needed as Scarborough passed their way forward with excellent handling. A superb tackle from Charlie Van Gils cut his opposite centre in half and the Scarborough player never looked dangerous again. The half time score was 3-7 to the visiting Greens.
The second half did not start well. To confuse the referee, I think, the Scarborough flankers 6 and 7 swapped shirts, as the first half 6 was responsible for most of his side's conceded penalties. Scarborough dominated the opening to the half. Penalty, penalty, try, as the Greens gave way after 5 minutes of the second half with the home side crashing over. Converted to make it 10 – 7. The Greens seemed to be penalised for anything and everything, whether in defence or attack. Shortly after, worse was to come, when replacement centre Charlie Van Gils, who came on for the injured Ben Botham, was sin-binned with Scunthorpe on the attack!! A promising position half way in Scarborough's half was lost, when he cleared out of the ruck too forcibly.
Now down to 14 players temporarily, only a last ditch ankle tap from Devon James could stop Scarborough running through the middle. The dominance in the lineout was keeping Scunthorpe in it and they held out. As Van Gils returned, Taylor was sin-binned and the Greens were down to 14 again. They battled and battled and would not give in, despite decisions going against them, and held out. With 10 minutes to go the magic from Matthews was to happen. The Greens had worked their way to the Scarborough half and were poised on the attack. Lineout ball was secured and quick service from Archie Swain to Matthews gave him the room he needed. The referee had called Scarborough offside and the Greens had a free play. Intelligent play saw Matthews drop a perfect drop goal from 15 yards out, 10- all. Shortly after, Taylor returned and Scunthorpe had their full complement.
With the scores tied, and scoring chances few and far between, a draw seemed likely. However Scunthorpe forced more mistakes from the home side and a penalty was given wide right. The logical thing was to go for touch and secure lineout, but Matthews told his skipper he could get it. Giving him the ball, he struck it sweetly and it was always going over. At the death, however, it veered left and hit the post. Luckily, it was the inside and it dropped over. 10-13.
Scarborough would come back and they did. They were determined and ran with purpose but Scunthorpe would not yield. Heroic play from Shay Hicks, at the end, dropping on a loose ball would secure possession and ultimately the game. A tap penalty from Boden to Captain, Meyer, had the latter boot the ball way into touch on the last play. Game over 10 -13.
After last week's try fest, this victory was down to a determination not to lose. The enthusiasm of Josh Sarsfield is what the team needs at times but Jess Matthews had to be man of the match for his match winning exploits. That said, the contributions of Matty Mason, Charlie Van Gils and Matty Boden should not be underestimated and the work of second rowers Matty Wormald and Stephen Middleton shouldn't go un-noticed though it often is, but today they were immense. The skills of Archie Swain and Devon James always seem to put Scunthorpe on the front foot, as happened today.
1. Shay Hicks
2. Jack McGrath
3. Israel Spry-Brittain
4. Matthew Mason
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Lewis Meyer
7. Joshua Sarsfield
8. Kristan Martin
9. Archie Swain
10. George Taylor
11. Piers Sciolti
12. Jess Matthews
13. Ben Botham
14. Devon James
15. Matty Boden
16. Stephen Middleton
17. Charlie Van Gils
18. Danny Shungedza
19. Shea Matthews
20. Will Greaves
Report by Carl Meyer