WHITBY Rugby Club under 17s travelled to a tough game at neighbours Malton, who are currently second in the league, with illness and injury ripping the team apart.
However, the squad which contained six under 16 players, were keen to take on the challenge.
Whitby once again gave themselves a moutain to climb after conceeding a try in the first few minutes.
But gradually, Whitby grew in stature the longer the game went on with some fine running from Jack Braithwaite and Adam Nixon.
Connor Clements was giving a text book display of tackling against players twice his size and the Whitby tight forwards were pushing the Malton scrum.
Malton seemed to be focusing their attack down the right wing and this is where their second try came from but Whitby were quick to answer back with a break through the centres leading to Cam Leadley gathering a high bouncing ball and scoring.
This was calmly converted by Sam Webster.
Midway through the first half, Whitby were dealt a blow, losing prop Ryan Skidmore with an injury leaving the already depleated squad to reshuffle.
But worse was to follow when they lost fly half and captain Sam Webster, who was harshly deemed to have tripped a Malton player.
Straight from this, Malton scored on the stroke of half-time, leaving the score Whitby 7 Malton 17.
The second half started with Whitby taking the game to Malton and starting to play the game through the forwards, taking several scrums against the head despite scrummaging with only seven in the pack.
Some creative lineout work by Bruce Reed, aided by Ryan Vasey, saw the ball passing through several pairs of hands.
When it reached Jack Braithwaite, he kicked the ball down towards the Malton tryline, leaving Matt Kendrew in a 50m race with the Malton defence.
Unluckily, Matt just couldn’t stretch far enough to claim the ball.
Charlie Ashford was showing great tenacity, staving off any Malton defence with some determined tackling.
Brad Coulman placed some lovely kicks to keep Whitby in attacking positions and Malton had to throw everything into defence.
James Newton and Mitch Eglon were always looking to break through the forwards and Whitby were unluckly when a break by Jack Braithwaite and Adam Swalewell was held up just short of the line.
The 14-man Whitby team put on a majestic defensive display in the second half which meant that despite the man advantage, Malton were unable to add any points to their first half total and with a little luck, Whitby might even have managed to win and look forward to the return fixture.
Try scorer: Cam Leadley; conversion: Sam Webster; men of the Match: Adam Nixon and Jack Braithwaite.
Whitby 7 Malton 17