Bonus point helps Whitby keep in title running

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WHITBY Maroons kept up the pressure for promotion - and the league title - with a convincing win at Newton Aycliffe on Saturday.

Whitby kicked off and took the play to Newton Aycliffe, trying to be patient and keeping hold of the ball in the attempt to play through the phases.

This proved difficult as Newton Aycliffe were very adept at spoiling Whitby’s ball and slowing it down at every breakdown.

After 15 minutes, Whitby took the first points courtesy of a penalty from Ollie Roberts.

Throughout the first half, many penalties were conceded by both sides which made for a slow game with many stoppages.

Eventually, late in the half, Whitby’s forwards got a rolling maul moving, driving forward inside the opposition 5m line. It collapsed over the tryline for Matthew Russell to emerge with the ball to score the first try, with the conversion added.

Just before half-time, Whitby conceded a penalty underneath their own post and Tim Richardson was deemed by the referee to be stopping the ball coming out, resulting in a yellow card for a professional foul.

Newton Aycliffe slotted the penalty over for 3-10 at the break.

Whitby had a reshuffle with 14 men, moving Ollie Roberts to scrum half and Nick Beaumont to full back.

Whitby started the half well keeping the ball tight in the forwards.

With good straight running from the battering rams of James Gildroy, John Harrison and Edward Richardson, Whitby slowly kept crossing the gain line, inching closer to the opposition line.

Again, Matthew Russell crossed the line but with only 20 minutes left, Whitby need two more tries for a bonus point.

The Whitby players rose to the challenge well with Andy Grady, Watson, Jack Grady and Nick Beaumont working well around the park and with the opposition tiring, more space opened up.

Andrew Morley spotted a gap around the fringe of a ruck and charged though it and with a pirouhette over the line, the defenders could not stop him touching the ball down.

To win the bonus point, Whitby added another try after moving the ball out wide to winger Anthony Craig, who crossed to line unchallenged.

With the bonus point in the bag with five minutes left, Newton Aycliffe surged back and with Whitby giving away yet more penalties a quick tap-and-go saw them cross the line in the corner for a consolation try.

In the dying seconds, Whitby put some good phases together and recycled the ball inside the opposition 22m line and Arron Jones crossed the line under the posts.

Whitby man of the match Jack Grady good work around the park.

Newton Aycliffe 8 Whitby Maroons 35