Senior Colts Win in Exciting Yorkshire Plate Semi-Final
By Karen Ratcliffe
Report by Ed Reid
Semi-final day (Yorkshire Plate) at Selby for the Colts, as they welcomed a Salem team with a reputation for playing tough rugby. The wind was blowing strongly and carried some light rain in it, meaning handling conditions weren’t going to be straightforward.
Within 10 minutes, Selby stamped their authority on the game following a really solid scrum on the halfway line. Quick ball to inside centre Abbott who ran a lovely straight line; he and Bayston both broke tackles at speed and it was Bayston who charged over and then duly converted. 7-0.
Selby continued to dominate through some fantastic forward play, exerting real pressure in Bradford’s 22 through extended phases. The stout defence from the visitors took its toll on them, and they conceded a penalty for a high tackle, which Selby played advantage for. Bayston spotted a gap on the left side and kicked cross-field, brilliantly finding Green the captain marauding forward. There was no stopping him from 10m out, and he went over in the left corner. 12-0.
It was only in the final stages of the first half that Salem enjoyed better possession, but Selby’s defence was hugely resilient with very few tackles missed. Ramsay at full back provided some particular highlights, often combining brilliant initial defence with immediate attack.
The home team took a deserved lead into the second half. Salem started as they’d left off, meaning a much more evenly-matched first 10 minutes with both sides trading blows, but neither making real headway. Selby won a penalty which took them 15-0 ahead, but with at least 20 minutes still to go, the crowd sensed Bradford still had something in them. Selby’s level, particularly in attack, had dropped off, and gave the visitors a sense of belief they’d seemingly lacked in the first half. This belief was justified as they finally broke through under the posts, but thanks to a charged-down conversion attempt by Bayston, only cut the lead to 15-5. However, there was more to come, as momentum continued to shift. The exchanges were turning increasingly scrappy, but Salem were camped out in
Selby’s 22, then much closer to the line on the right side. Despite some terrific last-ditch defence by Selby, the ball was eventually sprayed wide left where there were inevitably defensive gaps. The try was brilliantly converted from the touchline, taking the scoreline to 15-12. With 5 minutes to go, Selby needed one last push, and they didn’t disappoint, showing terrific resilience when it was needed.
The final against Scunthorpe beckons on March 24th, and in current form, no-one should bet against Selby going all the way.