WHITBY Rugby Club under 17s travelled to Scarborough for their first league game of the season expecting a closely fought local derby.
On a sunny but blustery morning, Whitby started the game with the benefit of the breeze and made the advantage pay with an early try.
The forwards won some quick ball and the ball passed swiftly down the line until it reached Cam Leadley who scored under the posts. The try was converted by Brad Coulman.
Whitby’s momentum continued with the forwards forcing the game to be played at a frantic pace with Dan Rollins gaining valuable yards.
Some good scavaging of the loose ball by Ryan Vasey lead to Toby Mok scoring Whitby’s second try, again converted by Brad Coulman.
However this spurred Scarborough into action and they started to pin Whitby back into their own 22 for long periods.
After some prolonged pressure, Whitby conceded a penalty and from the resulting move, Scarborough scored a converted try.
Now Scarborough started to attack and slipped through several missed tackles, scoring their second converted try and levelling the scores, making for an exciting last 10 minutes of the half.
Scarborough were kicking for field position but Whitby’s experienced line-out technicians Bruce Reed, Josh Shutt and Connor Clements were winning their own throw-in and disrupting the Scarborough line-out.
Aarron Watson was keeping Scarborough at bay with strong defensive tackling keeping the score at half-time 14-14.
The second half started with Whitby again taking the game to Scarborough. Brad took control of the ball, kicking brilliantly and gaining some great field position and from one of these incisive crossfield kicks, the ball was collected by Cam Leadley to score in the corner.
Whitby continued to push forward and some fine breaks from Mitch Cannon kept Whitby on the attack.
Scarborough were trying hard to get back in the game but another prefectly placed chip came from Brad who tried to collect his own kick but was pushed off the ball. But the ball fell for Leadley who scored his hat-trick this time Brad scored the conversion.
Now the pace of the game became frantic and some fine runs by the Scarborough prop was causing Whitby problems and resulted in Scarborough scoring a converted try.
Scarborough now had the momentuem and within a few minutes, a lapse in the Whitby defence was taken advantage of by Scarborough who scored an unconverted try, to level the scores.
The game swung from end to end with both sides desperate to gain the win and local pride.
Some excellent kicking from Kyle Grayson and probing runs by Adam Swalewell kept Whitby attacking and with time running out, Whitby had Scarborough pinned onto their tryline but failed to find a way through.
In the end a draw was a fair result with the effort put in by both sides meant either would have been unfortunate to lose.
Scarborough 26 Whitby 26
Whitby try scorers: Cam Leadley (3), Toby Mok; conversions Brad Coulman (3).
Man of the match: Dan Rollins