Academy’s strong showing against quality east coast rivals

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WHITBY Academy travelled over the moors on Saturday to face local rivals Scarborough in what they knew was going to be a harder game than the last few weeks.

Scarborough play a few leagues above Whitby, who were missing influential players Mike Latus and Aaron Jones.

Whitby lost the toss and were forced to play into the strong wind for the first half.

Scarborough made good use of this and pinned Whitby down in their half from the off.

The hosts had several first team players in their backs and soon showed their class when their full back scored two quick tries.

Whitby tried to get into the game but Scarborough kept the ball alive and spread the play wide at every opportunity and scored two more tries before half-time, one converted for a 22-0 lead.

The second half was much better for Whitby as the backs, led by Tim Richardson, got to grips with containing the opposition backs and Ollie Roberts showed a bit of his old pace when he reduced the gap with a fine try for the ‘Quins, converted by Sam Webster.

Whitby’s pack, who fought all game, were giving the opposition a run for their money, with Alex Taylor doing well in the line-outs and veterans Matt Coomber, Matt Russell, Neil Purves and Jock Harrison battling away to win plenty of ball for the Whitby backline.

Whitby scored a second try in the last quarter when, after a break by Richie Berry, man of the match Alex Taylor capped a good performance with a try, but a late try sealed the game for Scarborough.

The academy side can take a lot of positives from this game, especially the second half, by working out how to contain the home team’s backs.

Manager Andy Taylor and club coach Matt Webster both said how impressed they were with all the young players and new players who really got stuck into a hard game.

On Saturday (27 Jan), both the Harlequins and the first team are away at Seaton Carew - see teams section in Friday’s Gazette.

Scarborough 2nds 27 Whitby Harlequins/Academy 12

THE ‘Quins had another good win at Hartlepool to keep up the pressure at the top of the league the previous week.

They started the game well when winger Andy McGreavey stormed down the wing, being stopped just short of the line to feed Alex Taylor who scored.

Nick Bently increased the lead when he sprinted in from the halfway line. Connor Clements converted.

Alex Taylor scored a second try just before half-time to give the Academy a 17-0 lead.

Hartlepool started well in the second half and scored their only try when their centre got through the tight Whitby defence but shortly after, veteran Jim Fountain rounded his opposition winger to put the game out of the visitors’ reach. Connor Clements converted.

Acadamy manager Andy Taylor was full of praise for his younger players, especially Connor Clemments, Tom Steyert, Andy McGreavey and Bruce Reed.

Whitby Harlequins/Acadamy 24 Hartlepool 7