Vikings maintain title charge with Hullensians win

Matty Young impressed for the Vikings in their win against Hullensians
Matty Young impressed for the Vikings in their win against Hullensians

Scarborough Vikings hosted leaders Hullensians in a top-of-the-table clash with the visitors leading the Yorkshire Merit League.

Fly-half Martin Robinson kicked off the game and the Scarborough pack took the game to Hullensians from the off.

The home side camped in the visitors half and the Vikings big runners, James Leach and Paul Taylor, ran the hard yards at the opposition.

A great defensive effort from the Hullensians players kept the home side at bay with some great tackles and a well organised defensive line.

A lack of quick ball and with the game being slowed down meant the Vikings were unable to get over the game line and make any inroads into the visitor’s 22.

This all changed in the 30th minute when a long clearance kick from the visiting full-back was fielded and run back by the Vikings back-three into the Hullensians half.

Hullensians’ scrambled defence was breached and after quick ruck ball down the blind-side, prop Hayden Ogilvie made a break and outpaced the visitors defence to score the opening try.

Robinson missed the conversion.

Hullensians came back at the home side strongly and their large and pacy backs stretched the Vikings defence.

The Vikings defence held firm with outside centre Ryan Fowler making some great covering hits on his opposite number.

The moment of the half came in 40th minute when stand-in winger Alex Rowley, not the biggest of players, put a huge dump tackle on the Hullensians six-foot plus inside centre, which sent the home crowd into raptures.

The half-time whistle came after a hard fought first half for the Vikings with the score at 5-0.

The Vikings introduced number-eight Leslie Ume for young Will Leah and Guy Woodward replaced flanker Andy Rossol, who felt ill.

Big Ume made an instant impact with some rampaging runs from the back of the scrums and in the loose and was making great ground over the Hullensians gain line.

The Vikings were enjoying quicker ball in the second half and stretched their lead to 10-0 in the 60th minute when Ume burrowed over from short range after a succession of pick and goes from the home sides’ pack.

Robinson again missed the conversion.

After dominating the scrums throughout the game and driving the Hull pack from their own ball in the first half, the Vikings weren’t as strong in the final 22 minutes with the visitors gaining parity and limiting the dominance of the Vikings forwards.

This led to Hullensians’ first try of the game as the stretched Vikings defence was breached when the visitor’s winger scored in the corner to make the scores 10-5 with a quarter of the match to go.

The conversion was missed.

The final 20 minutes of the game was a tense and exciting affair with the game going end-to-end with both sides having opportunities to score.

The Vikings put in a monumental defensive display to keep Hullensians’ dangerous backs out with huge hits coming from Rory Day, Ogilvie and Tom Read.

The game finished 10-5 to the Vikings to the jubilation of the home crowd, the home side duly closing the points gap on the league leaders.

Pick of the forwards were Day, Ogilvie and Ume in the second half, who were at the forefront of the Vikings’ epic defence.

For the backs, Matty Young made some great hits and ran some excellent lines, while outside-centre Fowler was outstanding in defence and attack against a large opposition back line.

Man Of The Match:

Rory Day - making double figures in tackling and also first to all of the breakdowns.

VIKINGS: Taylor, Williams, Ogilvy, Leah, Wilkie, Rossol, Day, Leach, Lenton, Robinson, Rowley, Emsley, Fowler, Young, Dixon (c), Substitutes: Woodward, Dean, Fish, Read, Young, Ume, Brown, Morrell (all used).