Dale back to sparkling best

In 1st XV Match Reports by Rochdale Rugby

Rochdale 48 Scarborough 12.

Despite the terrible weather on Friday the ground staff at Moorgate Avenue turned out a perfect pitch to welcome first time visitors Scarborough. That was as far as the welcome extended as Dale set about their business with a vengeance when after 5 minutes of play they scored the first try of the afternoon set up by Stevie Collins who converted to make it 7-0. Good attack from the re:start saw Dale in the red zone again but brave defending from the visitors led to them clearing to the Dale 22. The referee awarded Dale a penalty on half way and from a fine passing move they strolled in for another try in the corner by young winger Cliff Howard brilliant conversion from the right touchline by Collins 14-0.

Dale appeared to be cruising now and some good line out ball from Chris Hodgkinson and Eddie Shanks gave the backs plenty of chances to build on the score and so it was on the half hour they had their 3rd try Mitch Holt made good ground but was tackled just short up stepped Collins to score and convert 21-0 a rout looked on but Scarborough held Dale up and forced errors, another passing move engineered by Colllins saw the ball go wide again and the Dale backs out paced their opposite numbers to score in the corner this time not converted 26-0. A couple of silly penalties saw Dale defending on their own 22 Captain Josh Schofield took a good catch and chipped over the advancing visitors pack he then hacked on the ball and beat the Scarborough full back to score a great solo try converted by Collins 33-0 with 5 minutes to half time. A late penalty in front of the posts was squandered by the visitors so 33-0 was the half time score.

The second half started with Scarborough on the offensive and after a messy maul on half way the ref yellow carded of all people Stevie Collins so down to 14 Dale pressed on the usual cohesion was lost and the visitors had their first try 33-7 Minutes later another series of off sides and poor tackles led to a 2nd try 33-12. The side were restored to 15 and with Harry Hayes and returning Aidy Gleeson brought on Dale resume their dominance in the scrums and line outs ,then a nice move from Hayes and Danny Joesbury saw the scrum half reach the visitors 10 metre zone only to be held up. The resulting scrum was won against the head by Dale and after a fine passing move another of the exciting young players in Ben Sunderland crashed over 38-12.

Midfield exchanges lots of penalties and high kicks to no avail until a penalty to Dale was run and when Schofield was tackled high the ref gave another penalty the pack came in and Jonny Bradley got his now customary try 43-12. Scarborough were getting desperate to get out of their own 22 and when a box kick was charged down Schofield passed the ball wide to Mitch Holt on wing to score the final points of the day with the conversion going just wide 48-12 a good victory and maximum points last weeks disappointment was well behind them Dale go into the half term break in a very healthy 6th place in the league. Next up leaders Selby at home with a 2.15 kick off.

David Rhodes R.R.U.F.C.