WHITBY Maroons took the trip to Hartlepool on a sizzling October’s day, looking to make a massive improvement on the previous week’s game against Redcar.
Even before Whitby got out the changing rooms, coach Paul Robson fired everybody up with some very hard-hearted words and gave instructions on how the game was to be played.
With Whitby’s ears still ringing from the pre-match warm up, Whitby came out at a ferocious speed.
From the off, their game plan was uncomplicated and it worked well.
Some great work by the big runners of James Gildroy and Darren Lonsdale and first class support work from Shane Young and Ste Cuthbert saw Whitby gain yards at every opportunity and spend most of the time in the Hartlepool half.
Hartlepool kept Whitby on their toes with some pin-point kicking and some hard running on the wings.
Whitby’s first score came after a good move in the backs, which saw the bulldozing Ed Richardson smash his way through the would-be tacklers and put the ball down over the line.
From another solid forward run, Hartlepool got caught short and Whitby were awarded a penalty which was accurately finished off by Sam Webster.
In the second half, as some players tired, it came to Webster to command the back line and give the faster lads their chance to shine.
Whitby’s scrums had been solid all match with James Newton proving he has the power to nail his place in the scrums.
Whitby started to drain as the heat and sunshine took its toll and Hartlepool put a lot of pressure on Whitby and eventually they went over to score a few tries.
With only two minutes to go, Hartlepool kicked it long, making Whitby run a long way backwards to retrieve the ball.
Anthony Craig gathered and showed what he can do with the ball in hand and made a dash up the wing, ducking and diving and making it to the opposite 22.
With good recycling again from the forwards James Newton and Ste Cuthbert the ball got spun out to the opposite wing and fell into Jack Reeves’s hands who showed his rapidity and finished the move off nicely, this was the final play of the game.
The match was hard fought and Whitby played to the instructions given before the game, but the fitness sloped off towards the end of the game so training is a must.
Men of the match: Forwards - Shane Young, backs - Jack Reeves.
Hartlepool 24 Whitby 16