Whitby Maroons travelled to face Barnard Castle on Saturday, with the hosts in good form and Whitby seemingly coming into form before the Christmas break, but knowing the hosts are stronger at home.
The home side started the first half playing down the considerable slope, forcing Whitby to keep the ball in hand and pressurise the Barnard Castle defence.
The opening 20 minutes were a tense affair with neither side able to assert themselves.
Barnard Castle broke the deadlock with a move down the blindside after 25 minutes to make the score 7-0 before doubling the scoring in almost identical fashion to open up a 14-0 advantage.
Whitby came back into the game with the introduction of debutant Danny Winter at stand-off, placing the ball in the right place and making Barnard Castle play in their own half.
The Maroons were unfortunate to concede another unconverted try before half-time, leaving them with a deficit of 19-0 at the break.
Whitby turned around to play down the slope and looked stronger, forcing hosts Barnard Castle to make errors.
The front row of Nathan Kaz, Stephen Gildroy and Bruce Reed were putting pressure on their decorated Barnard Castle counterparts, while Anth Craig made a nuisance of himself at the breakdown and Callum Smith snuffed out Barnard Castle attacks before they started.
However, Whitby’s mistakes allowed Barnard Castle to attack the Whitby line, adding three tries to push their lead to 31-0 and put the result beyond any doubt.
Whitby finished strong, forcing Barnard Castle backwards with pace before prop Kaz crossed and the try was converted to put the score to 31-7.
The Maroons will be disappointed to have got nothing out of this match, but will hope to turn their improving performances into results at home to Durham City this week.