For the first fixture of the new year, The Greens travelled to face old county rivals, Spalding in the Lincolnshire Cup. The two sides last met in the county final two years ago with Scunthorpe coming away victorious.
There were a few changes to the normal squad with Steve Johnson taking on the fly-half role in the absence of Tom Foster and a new centre pairing of Chris Smith alongside Sam Morgan in the absence of Oli Wood and Ash Dibden. Callan McSherry made his first senior start on the left wing.
The two division gulf between the sides was evident from the first scrummage as the Scunthorpe front three made an immediate impact. It took only 3 minutes for the first score as Dave Garbutt powered in from close range. Steve Johnson added the extras and The Greens were up and running with a 7 points to nil lead. It took another 20 minutes for a disjointed game to settle and Scunthorpe the used their powerful runners to break through the home defence and score at regular intervals.
Garbutt scored his second after 23 minutes followed by Jake Barron on 28 minutes and Garbutt then Completed his hat-trick after just 31 minutes. Matt Probert got in on the act after 34 minutes and Barron completed his brace to close the first half. Johnson had added all the extra points except for the last try of the half and Scunthorpe went into the interval with a 40 points to nil lead.
The Greens were again quickly out of their blocks for the second period and it was only fitting that eighteen years old Keiron Bournes should be the scorer following some excellent ball carrying. This try came after 4 minutes but Spalding now managed to put together a few passages of play and deserved to gain their eventual touch-down which was converted to make the score line 45 points to 7 after 13 minutes.
Scunthorpe struck back after two minutes with a penalty try for which Spalding also had a man binned. The conversion meant that Scunthorpe had broken the 5o – point barrier.
The powerful Scunthorpe set piece generated a lot of possession and tries came at regular intervals with two more for Garbutt, one for Tom Hughes and a second for Bournes, giving a final tally of 76 points to 7 to Scunthorpe. Coming on as a replacement during the game was 56 years old Mick Dunk who thus made history in two ways. Firstly, being the oldest player to represent Scunthorpe at this level and secondly, having joined his son, Mick Dunk junior on the pitch, they became the first father and son combination to play for the first team.
This was a good work-out for the squad in preparation for their next league fixture when they entertain Longton at Heslam Park next Saturday.
Match Report by LWJClayton