Ratcliffe returns for Shield clash

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Saturday’s trip to Pontefract for the second round of the Yorkshire Challenge Shield comes on a blank league Saturday.

I’m told by Scarborough’s first team manager Dave Smith that although several players have previous commitments on what was a free league Saturday, the Seasiders will be able to field a fairly strong side which will see the return of leading points scorer Tom Ratcliffe who missed last week’s 21-15 defeat of Barnsley as he was at a wedding.

Pontefract were 28-24 winners of their game with Old Brodlieans in the first round of the competition, however the Seasiders were too strong for ‘Ponte’ in the league game between the sides at Silver Royd in the middle of November running out 35-5 winners thanks to a hat-trick of tries from Tom Ratcliffe, right, who scored 30 of the side’s 35 points on the day.

South African prop Nino Cutino got the match’s other touchdown.

Ratcliffe kicked another 15 points in the game. Last Saturday Pontefract were on the road at Dinnington where they were thrashed 58-3 by the south Yorkshiremen.

Like Scarborough, Pontefract have blown hot and cold this season but the stakes are high as the winner if successful in subsequent rounds will have home games all the way to the final.

South African back row Senako Dunywa, who was at Silver Royd for a short time, has now left the club and moved south.

The ‘powers that be’ knew that ‘Snakes’ would only be here for short time but the youngster made a favourable impression on the Scarborough faithful and we wish him well.

It was great to see former professional rugby league star Craig Farrell back in action at Silver Royd in the Yorkshire One game against Barnsley last week.

Having played a big part in the Pirates’ summer of success, he stepped in to replace the unavailable Ratcliffe, who also had a great summer at Eastway. He made a great start to the game and set up the first try but faded a wee bit after the break; however he looked strong and played the full game.

Hopefully we’ll see more of him this season.

Also in action was the ageless Tom Fish; now in his 40s, Tom played for over an hour and afterwards told me he had enjoyed every minute of his game.

Players like Tom are at the very heart of Scarborough Rugby Club.

With the festive season upon us Silver Royd will host a couple of annual rugby matches; the Old Boys take on Scarborough Sixth Form College at Silver Royd on Saturday and the over-30s will take on the under-30s on Boxing Day.

Tomorrow evening the Scarborough RUFC Spartans Club Super Draw and Quiz will be held in the JM Guthrie starting at 8pm Sharp.

Prizes for the draw will be in excess of £1,000 and include December’s statutory allocation.

Following another successful year long fund-raising campaign, the Spartans will be able to provide cash for the lucky winners on the night.

A buffet fit for a Spartan Army will be prepared and all Spartan club members are invited to bring along a guest.  

Further information on this event can be had from the Scarborough RUFC admin office on 01723 357740 or email admin@scarboroughrugby.co.uk.  

As I entered York RUFC on Clifton Lane a couple of weeks ago a young man admitted me to the ground at the concession rate and I suppose with my appearance and at my age I thought nothing of it.

However a well known former Scarborough player who shall be nameless and is at least 15 years younger than me was quite put out when he checked his change and found that the same young man had admitted him at the OAP’s rate.

The ex-player who has for many a year sported a ‘Santa Clausesque’ beard credited his hirsute appearance as having enhanced his ‘mature’ look on the day.

Last Saturday I spied him at Silver Royd sporting what would best be called designer stubble having laid waste to his facial hair with the pruning shears.

Personally, I don’t think anything’s going to make me look any younger; so I’ll keep the whiskers and pick up the concessionary prices.

Finally, let me wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year and I’ll be back in 2013 to bring all news and reports on Scarborough RUFC.

‘Lang may yer lum reek.’