Gregson holds his nerve to help Maroons to victory

Whitby and Winlanton do battle
Whitby and Winlanton do battle

Whitby looked to get back to winning ways on Saturday when they travelled to Winlaton Vulcans for what is always a difficult fixture.

The visitors were without second row pairing of Luke Brown and Dan Marsay but welcomed back Oliver Roberts and Oliver Telfer into the squad.

The game started with the hosts very much on the front foot and took the game to Whitby, who struggled to settle.

The set-piece was failing with the scrum unable to cope with the pressure bestowed on them from the opposition.

However, during another Winlaton move, the quick- thinking Sam Webster intercepted a pass to run 60 metres, and evade any challenges to go under the posts for a try completely against the run of play.

Stuart Gregson added the extras to complement a fine solo try.

The Vulcans were soon back on the attack and from a line-out on their attacking 22 pulled off a well-rehearsed move to draw the scores level.

Whitby started to compose themselves and began using their backs and stretching the home defence.

With pressure ensuing on the Vulcans defence, a series of penalties were given away and from one penalisation it was captain Gordon Bland whose quick thinking saw him go over from five metres out to restore his side’s advantage, with Gregson again adding the extras.

Whitby kept up the pressure and got the lead up to 10 points when Gregson converted a tricky looking penalty opportunity.

However, this was cancelled out shortly before half-time to make the score at the interval 17-10 to the visiting Maroons.

The second half started in disastrous fashion with a seven-point score and the scores level again after the home side crashed over the line from close quarters.

The following period of the game saw two committed sides laying everything on the line to gain the numerical advantage.

Both sides carved out opportunities but were halted by committed defences on each occasion.

With the final few minutes remaining, a break from the blind-side at the back of an attacking Winlaton scrum gave them a great opportunity to score.

However, young winger Jannie Jacobs spotted the danger and flew across to make an unbelievable tackle to keep the scores level and this would prove to be vital to the outcome of the game.

With just over a minute left on the referee’s watch, Whitby were awarded a penalty in a kickable part of the field.

It was down to Gregson to keep his composure and take the opportunity and win the game for his side, no mistake was made as he duly slotted the kick over the posts.

With the referee blowing his whistle after a breakdown shortly after the restart this gave Whitby the 20-17 win.

This was a game that could have gone either way but it was Whitby who brought the points back.

Manager Matt Jones commented: “To grind out a result from that position away from home against a very committed side is great to see.

“The tackle by Jacobs was one of the best I have seen for a long time which gave us the opportunity to win.”

Man of the Match:

Gordon Bland, who led by example both in attack and defence all afternoon.