York’s Clifton Park ground was in near perfect condition for open, exciting rugby and the teams did not disappoint. From the kick off to the final whistle the spectators were treated to a game that confirmed the high standard of Regional One rugby. Scunthorpe registered the first score when, following several phases of play, Joey Mowbray touched down in the corner for an unconverted try.
York replied three minutes later when their attacking pressure forced a penalty, converted by their fly half Harry Shackleton.
Following these early scores both sides defended well although York seemed to be keeping the lion’s share of the possession with their tight scrum working well and the penalty count favouring them.
The deadlock was broken on the half hour by York substitute prop Lewi Jackson who came off the bench and made a rampaging bust past several tacklers to unbalance Scunthorpe’s defence and allow his backs to put winger Sam Forbes over in the corner. Five minutes later York’s influential standoff Shackleton jinked through for a try he converted to make the half time score 15-5.
The home team started the second half as they finished the first and soon right winger Jonty Atkinson completed a sustained attack by scoring in the corner. Standoff Shackleton, with a good supply of the ball, was now orchestrating play with long kicks for touch, chips ahead and crisp passing moves. This resulted in flanker Archie Fothergill scoring Yorks’ bonus point try.
After this early flourish the score board was not troubled for twenty five minutes. The home side may have ‘taken their foot of the peddle’ and the visitors certainly found reserves of strength. As the game entered its final minutes Scunthorpe were putting together some potent attacks and were rewarded when Ben Hyde burst clear to outpace the York defence and touch down for Scunthorpe’s second try.
York, however, got the final score. After the visitors failed to secure the ball at the restart they launched an attack that saw scrum half Toby Atkin scamper over to make the result 32-10
Next Saturday there is no Regional One game. Three or four of the Scunthorpe players will welcome a chance for battered bodies to recover. Others will need to maintain or increase their fitness levels.
The team is improving and we know what needs doing, but only more work on and off the field will bring us some desperately needed points by Christmas.