Maroons dip in form continues with defeat at Sedgefield
Whitby travelled to Sedgefield and continued a bad run of results which has seen them slip from the top of Northumberland Division Two to midtable.
Captain Gordon Bland was still injured along with hooker Richard Hare.
Flanker James Newton was unavailable and this was always going to be a testing afternoon for the travelling Maroons.
The game began with both teams testing each other out with plenty of territorial kicking being utilised by the home side on a small pitch.
However, it was Whitby who began the scoring with a neat dummy by fly-half Sam Webster, which was bought by the home side, resulting in him going over in the corner.
With Stu Gregson converting with a neat kick, this gave Whitby a good platform to build on.
The visitors lost scrum-half Connor Clennan soon after with a hamstring injury, and introduced young Jannie Jacobs into the game.
However, with Whitby giving daft penalties away, it gave Sedgefield’s influential number nine opportunities to give his team chances at attacking line-outs.
It was from one of these line-outs that the home side put together a catch and drive move, which saw them go over and make the score level.
Sedgefield began to control proceedings with numerous handling errors and bad decisions from Whitby.
Sedgefield took the lead with a penalty in front of the posts soon before half-time to make the score at the break 10-7 to the home side.
Coach for the afternoon Steve Allen gave his instructions to the players and gave them a sense that they could and should win this game by thinking about what they needed to do.
The second half started with the home side very much in the ascendancy and were constantly attacking the Whitby line.
The pressure soon paid off with a close-range try in the corner to stretch their lead.
Whitby were making efforts to get back into the game with Jack Braithwaite, Luke Brown and Aaron Jones making their usual crashing runs.
The scrum was holding its own with Bruce Redd being assisted by front-row newcomers George Reeves and Oliver Telfer.
Although the effort was on show from the visitors, they lacked creativity and on the whole did not put the home side under much pressure.
Shortly before the final whistle, Sedgefield made the result safe with another short range crashing effort to make the final score 20-7 to the hosts.
This was a frustrating afternoon for Whitby with manager Matt Jones, who said: “Fair play to the Sedgefield lads, they made it difficult for us all afternoon.
“They know how to use their pitch and they controlled the game by doing just that.
“We need to get out of this run we have found ourselves in and will look to do just that at home against Sunderland next week.”
Man of the match was Aaron Jones, who was a constant thorn in the Sedgefield side.