North One East
Scarborough RUFC 48 v Percy Park RFC 31
Park outdone by a ‘Jordi’
As the tries clocked on for the home side the announcer made constant reference to a scorer hailed by the name of ‘Geordie’. As the faithful stood with ‘head in hands’, that awful thought entered the old brainpan that our beloved had been outdone by one of our own!!....never…it cannot be…I mean what loyal and truehearted Tynesider would deliberately inflict hurt on his own….so at the final whistle, as we dejectedly trooped up the staircase to take our medicine, a thought occurred that we could share a beer or two with our wayward brother and perhaps show him the error of his ways. An approach was made to a Scarborough official to make an introduction….and with great relief I can report that our demise was at the hands of ‘man of the match’ Jordan Wakeham, a Yorkshireman!! And, being a Yorkshireman, I can say with great certainty that he didn’t originate from anywhere near the north side of the Tyne!…..A word was had and an ancestral lesson given…I mean you cannot call someone a ‘Geordie’, even with a ‘J’ if they didn’t hail from where we live, have a mining heritage or first name that looks like ‘George’….and in giving the history lesson we were able to rescue some satisfaction from the day, as we were outscored and outmatched by an ebullient Scarborough side. A display orchestrated at ‘Number 9’ from that man Wakeham…so how did the Yorkshire ‘Jordi’ put Park to the sword?
The game kicked off with a freshening wind that blew straight off the North Sea and gave a significant advantage to the team ‘with wind’. Scarborough went first and immediately set about dismantling the Park defence. Centre pairing Ollie Stephenson and Captain Seb Reece made their intentions known that they were not going to be intimidated, by doubling up on a crunching tackle in the middle of the paddock. Not to be deterred the home side went to the boot and put full back Andrew Walker under pressure. With the player swamped the turnover was inevitable. With possession, Scarborough swept the ball away from the contact, putting wing Joe Marshall in for the score…Ill not tell you who made the conversion as the first mention from the tannoy of the ‘G’ word created a look. It was a poor start and we needed a response and that came from a Michael Grove slip.
Fine interplay from Stephenson and Reece had Park on the front foot. As the ball landed to the ruck Park were undone by the ‘Boro’ inside centre who nipped in to take the unprotected ball. Park absorbed the pressure although they were giving away yards. Our doggedness reaped reward when Michael Grove regained possession and broke out. With pace and velocity of foot the pitch opened up only for the player to lose his foot. To the floor he went. Rurairi ‘Rory’ Meharg was on the ball in a flash and sent a spinning pass to the centre. Will Robinson streaked away quicker than Steve Cram and had the Scarborough defense flapping. A try saving tackle by the covering ‘maroon and white wing’ delayed progress before a deft offload put the supporting Andrew Walker in for the score. With the conversion missed Scarborough were ahead by 2.
What followed became alarming. First Michael Grove got dummied by a front row dump truck, Andy Dunn and his ‘brother in arms’ Michael Langlands got stripped and our line out wobbled. Impetus flowed to the home side and it was with no great surprise that the next score went Scarborough’s way with a touchdown in the corner. Albeit made with the ball grounded behind the player as the scorer was shuffled out of play. The try given by ‘our linesman’, despite some of the faithful throwing their hands to the heavens, it appeared to be the correct decision. 12-5 the score.
Further misery was inflicted by a high loping ball sent skyward by the Scarborough ‘10’. As Andrew Walker set himself to receive the ball bounced of his chest….and in the gather the player…well Andrew can tell you himself!!…..All that needs to be said is that Scarborough received the ball and were prevented from an immediate score by a terrific tackle from Will Robinson…unfortunately they still scored!!...and that man (who I cannot bring myself to name) slotted the conversion…19-5 and we were in trouble.
With Ethan Wilson, Dunn, Langlands and the very impressive Jake Smith completely ‘brassed’ off, Park went on the offensive and found their outlet through Will Robinson. Ollie Stephenson was having a great game at centre and with four impressive handoffs he went through the line like a young bull at heat, before offloading to Seb Reece, who in turn put Robinson in for the score. At 19-12 surely it was game on.
As the turn approached Percy Park were stuck in their half, although to their credit they had started to hold the scrum. With ‘the go’ Walker went through the line. As he did so he became isolated and Scarborough picked him off. With a penalty conceded for holding on the three points were taken.22-12.
From the restart the ball appeared to have been kicked dead before a glance off a Scarborough shirt ushered the ball over the line. Or did it? Our Chris and the referee had a bit of a ‘tete to tete’ and the decision to return to centre field was made. Well that debate raged in the clubhouse after!! … From that scrum Scarborough took us apart and pushed the ‘black and whites’ back and then back again; giving away two penalties in the process. And from that series of penalties Scarborough 8, Ben Martin, went over. And then that man converted. 29-12 and to think we were in with a chance at 19-12…..the faithful were left thinking ‘what happened there!’
Still a try on the restart might put the ‘Lion amongst the Yorkshire pigeons’...alas that thought quickly drifted away as Park failed to make any tackles and ‘got done’ by the offload. Scarborough went over and yes him again!!......36-12…..wishing that the announcer wouldn’t mention the ‘G’ word again!!
We needed something special…something that could galvanize player and supporter alike…something that could spark a comeback…come on we were playing ‘with wind’…and that moment originated from the mercurial boot of Andrew Walker. Seeing that the ‘dumper truck’ was all alone in full back terriority, Walker dinked a bouncing ball in front of the front row man hoping he would make a mess of it….and he did. Struggling to get low enough the ball bounced, spun and did a flip in front before the Park ‘boys’ were over it like a rash. Walker emerged from the melee and flipped the ball to a fleet footed Grove to score. Grove added to the count 36-19.Come on!!
The game looked an awful lot better when Michael Grove, with ball in hand, teased the Scarborough defence and when they came out ‘of line’ set off at a blister. He was there one minute and gone the next touching down to finish a fabulous solo effort. Making the conversion 36-26. Now we were getting excited!
Well that euphoric feeling only lasted a second or two as Ethan Wilson was deemed to have failed to roll away. A quick tap by ‘Jordi’ put Aaron Wilson in space. Given a free run he couldn’t fail to score.43-26…and then it got worse. Park’s work rate drifted away giving space in the midfield. Space in which Jordi thrived. A cracking double switch in the centre sent Aaron Wilson away……again…. and on this occasion the centre floated a pass to his winger giving him a gift he couldn’t fail to take. On this occasion the conversion was missed.48-26 and in truth that was goodnight. Park were on the canvas and not looking as if they could get back up
Some of the boys were really trying and became frustrated as we kicked good possession away. Frustration further boiled over when a pass went behind the flying Robinson when a score was possible. The game was not going our way and the penalty count went up and up. Scarborough went to the canter and in doing so let Walker in for a try in the corner and in the doing Will Robinson received a cheap shot with a knee to his ribs….a shot the provoked some Latin from Park’s elder statesman along the lines of ‘’ Nunquam sapiunt habentem ire in maiori habere mollis quis ire ad me vobis!!’’…..well that gave the author of this little story the best, and only, laugh of the day.
Final score 48 to 31…well beaten really despite scoring 5 tries…still it gave us a point to take to next week’s game away to Kendal…Come on Park we can do better!!