Gregson’s try enough to help Maroons to Whitley Bay draw

The Whitby RUFC Maroons prepare to scrum down with Whitley Bay. Picture: Jenny Brown-Wood.
The Whitby RUFC Maroons prepare to scrum down with Whitley Bay. Picture: Jenny Brown-Wood.

Whitby Maroons travelled to Whitley Bay Rockcliffe on Saturday, a place that had not been a happy hunting ground for them in recent times.

The travelling Maroons started well, keeping the ball and maintaining control of both the ball and possession forcing Whitley Bay deep into their own half.

Whitby’s continued pressure from half-backs Sam Webster and Gordon Bland eventually forced a 22-metre drop-out, from which Stu Gregson was able to weave his way through the Whitley Bay line to score an unconverted try in the corner.

This left the score at 5-0 to the away side.

Whitley Bay responded well, using their powerful ball carriers to make their way up the pitch with Whitby’s usually tenacious defence been oddly passive until Whitley Bay got within 15 metres of the line when Whitby seemingly sprung to life.

With the set-piece being keenly contested by both sides, Whitby were able to control their own ball, while been unable to disrupt their own opponents.

The rest of the first half continued in the same fashion with both sides cancelling each other out, as the wind and rain swept in to make life difficult for both sets of players.

The sides turned around with Whitley Bay now benefiting from the change in conditions.

However, this did not have much effect on the course of the game, with Whitby’s usually dangerous backs being blunted and Whitley Bay’s attack failing to fire as well.

Eventually, Whitby worked a position for a shot at goal from a penalty.

The penalty was missed and from the resulting 22-metre drop-out Whitby failed to clear their lines effectively and, after a litany of errors, Whitley Bay crossed in the corner.

The conversion was missed to leave the scores locked at 5-5.

After this the game opened up, with both sides creating chances, with both sides conspiring to fluff their lines, with Whitby showing a determined rear guard whenever Whitley Bay threatened to add to their tally.

Whenever Whitby managed to gain ground, they were met with a red and yellow wall of defence that has served Whitley Bay so well this campaign.

Whitley Bay finished the game on top, piling pressure deep into Whitby’s half and only a fluffed drop-goal kept the travelling Whitby Maroons on terms, leaving the score 5-5 at the full-time whistle.

Man of the match went to Stu Gregson

Whitby Harlequins fared worse, losing 32-14 to a strong Middlesbrough side, with departing hooker Nath Kaz scoring and gaining man of the match, in an otherwise disappointing performance.

This week sees the Maroons host recently relegated Acklam and the ‘Quins at home to Newtonians.

Both kick off at 3pm.