WHO needs Carl Paterson? York RUFC's 25-3 win over Scarborough at Clifton Park was by no means as comfortable as the score-line suggests.

But statistics don't lie and the win, gained without their former skipper and influential fly-half, has fired the club to the top of Yorkshire One.

Paterson may now be plying his trade at North One Hull, but this derby unearthed more positives than the headlines his high-profile defection had elicited in the past seven days.

For a start, full-back Neil McClure displayed an accuracy in front of goal with the boot which made any previously sceptical spectators gasp.

And, in 17-year-old debutant scrum-half Matt Hargreaves, York clearly have a star of the future in the firmament.

That said, the first-half was the test new York skipper Jon Sharpe had been predicting as the two sides battled in a show strictly for a rugby connoisseur.

Missed passes, dropped balls and penalties predominated as both York and Scarborough struggled to find their flowing form.

The Seasiders had already wasted a chance to take the lead - hooker Matt Jones missing a penalty - when McClure showed him how to take a kick, slotting the ball through the uprights from near touch on the left after 16 minutes.

York found it difficult to get near Scarborough's 22 and the visitors were hardly threatening either as the rest of the first half descended into a midfield battle.

With the Clifton Parkers holding a narrow 3-0 lead at the break, it was no surprise when they began the second period determined to get the ball wider.

Stand-off Mike Ford, who struggled to find his range in the first half, finally seemed to shake off the shackles of Paterson's ghost and found his centres with good ball, while Hargreaves - despite his diminutive stature - proved to be a constant thorn in the Scarborough side.

McClure gave York a 6-0 lead with another finely struck penalty seven minutes into the second half before the home side finally scored their first try after 52 minutes.

Securing the lineout five metres out, Oli Councell took the maul forward and forced it over the line in the second phase in the right-hand corner.

McClure nailed the difficult kick to give York a 13-0 advantage.

Jones got Scarborough on the scoreboard with 18 minutes remaining with a penalty and the visitors proceeded to enjoy their most dangerous spell of the game, camping several times inside the York 22.

But the home defence stood firm and York showed their cutting edge scoring twice in stoppage time - the first a three-phase forward move finished by Darren Rutherford.

There was time for Sharpe to seal a fairytale debut as captain when he took advantage of a Scarborough fumble five metres out, scooping up the ball and saluting the crowd before touching down.

The win, along with Bradford Salem's 19-0 demolition of Pontefract, put York top and Sharpe said afterwards: "It was great to get off on the right foot. That's the standard we want to achieve and we've set ourselves a target over the next four game.

"It's nice to learn we're top. It gives us an incentive to try and stay there."