Maroons stay second after hard-earned win at Richmondshire
Whitby Maroons travelled to Richmondshire in the hopes of keeping up their promotion charge in Durham Northumberland Two.
The travelling Maroons were given a boost pre-match with the return of several key players and started brightly with new signing Callum Smith proving himself on debut.
With Whitby’s forwards controlling possession, the dangerous Maroons back line were able to cut through their counterparts, and after some neat interplay, winger John Hatton crossed in the corner for an unconverted try to make the score 5-0.
Whitby kept up their momentum from the kick-off with centres George Reeves and Connor Clennan providing the creative spark in attack.
Within minutes Whitby were deep inside the Richmondshire 22, when a clumsy tackle led to a yellow-card, a tenacious Whitby defence stopped the Richmondshire counter-attack and second row Oliver Telfer barged his way across the line to make the score 12-0.
Whitby’s fantastic start continued and sharp interplay between Luke Brown and Nathan Kaz put Whitby in a dangerous position from which winger Jamie Allison crashed over to make the score 19-0.
Richmondshire came back into the game as Whitby’s notorious ill-discipline crept back into focus, giving away a number of penalties and receiving another yellow card.
Some hard-fought defence from Connor Clements and Anthoney Craig meant Whitby held out for the duration of the sin-bin period.
However, Whitby’s defence eventually wilted and Richmondshire touched down and converted to leave the score 19-7.
Whitby turned around at half-time and were now playing against the elements, however they began the stronger, with strong ball carrying from Justin Mayne and Richard Hare putting the away side in a strong position for captain Gordon Bland to snipe his way over and make the score 24-7.
Richmondshire came back strong, using the elements to their advantage, with only solid play from full-back Stu Gregson stopping them being penned into their 22 completely.
Some smart play from Aaron Jones meant Whitby were always able to find possession, however the pressure was building and Richmondshire forced their way over to make the score 24-14.
Whitby responded well though, with ball carrying from Bruce Reed helping them control the game.
Their pressure told and they forced a penalty which was kicked to make the score 27-14.
Whitby showed excellent maturity and game control in the dying minutes, playing conservative, risk-free, rugby to put fly-half Sam Webster in a position to cross in the corner and leave the final score 32-14.
Second-place Whitby Maroons face third-place Whitley Bay Rockcliffe at home on Saturday in a promotion contest, which finished 5-5 in the away fixture, kick off 2.15pm at Whitby Rugby Club.
Whitby Harlequins suffered a 24-14 loss at home to a strong Guisborough side in a tight home game.
This narrow loss shows the Harlequins are making great strides in their game play.