Academy can ‘take heart’ from narrow defeat

WHITBY Rugby Club’s young side went into this game in high spirits after last week’s win at Acklam.

Coach Matt Webster was forced to make a few changes due to late cry-offs and the first team needing a few players but once again the ‘Quins had a full side and three subs.

Billingham were first on the scoreboard when their large pack trundled down the field, eventually releasing the ball for their winger to go over in the corner.

Whitby hit straight back after some good play, centre Anthony Craig crashed through the Billingham defence and with the conversion kicked by Connor Clennan, Whitby took a slender lead into half-time.

Billingham started well in the second half and their pressure soon paid off with two quick scores, despite some great tackling from Shaw, Bradley and Aaron Jones.

Whitby lost influential full back Mick Latus to a groin strain and Craig Hall was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes after a spot of fisticuffs.

Whitby brought on Alan Knaggs as a front row replacement.

Most teams’ heads would have gone down at this point but not the young Whitby side who upped their game and took the game to Billingham and shortly after Hall was allowed to rejoin the game.

He tore through the Billingham pack to score the last try of the match.

Billingham deserved their win but Whitby can take great heart, playing a side several leagues above them to the wire.

Matt Kendrew and Richie Berry both came close for the man of the match award but Marcus Coates took the award for his constant foraging for the ball in the loose.

The ‘Quins are at home for the next three games and any players old or new wishing to play can contact coach Matt Webster on 07790 162692.

Whitby Harlequins/Academy 12 Billingham 3rds 20