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Maroons battle hard but slip to home defeat

Connor Clement tries to hand off a Gateshead man during Whitby RUFC Maroons 39-24 home defeat in Durham Northumberland One '''''''PICTURES BY BRIAN MURFIELD
Connor Clement tries to hand off a Gateshead man during Whitby RUFC Maroons 39-24 home defeat in Durham Northumberland One '''''''PICTURES BY BRIAN MURFIELD

Whitby Maroons entertained Gateshead in their first home match of the Durham Northumberland One season after a tough start to the season.

Gateshead started well, using their pace to good effect scoring a converted try in the opening 10 minutes to make the score 7-0.

Whitby grew into the game, using their superior scrum and forward power to drive the Gateshead pack backwards before second row Justin Mayne crashed over for his first try of the season to make it 7-7.

The home pack continued to dominate with the front row of Nath Kaz, Rich Hare and Bruce Reed giving scrum-half Connor Livermore a great platform to work from as he grew into the game.

Whitby continued their forward dominance for hooker Hare to bundle over from close range to move into a 12-7 lead.

Gateshead struck back quickly though, using their speed to score a converted try to take a 14-12 lead into the half-time break.

The hosts turned round at half-time playing with the elements and were hopeful of forcing a result.

Whitby however, started in the worst possible fashion, losing captain Gordon Bland after a clash of heads and conceded a converted try as Gateshead went 19-12 up.

Gateshead struck quickly to push the score to 24-12 and again using their speedy winger to good advantage for 29-12 before poor play from Whitby granted them another chance to extend their lead to 34-12.

Whitby’s forwards again provided go-forward with David Bland and Dan Marsay linking well before scrum-half Connor Livermore crossed for his maiden senior try to make it 34-19.

Whitby’s power again forced Kaz over for another try to put the score 34-24, before Gateshead broke for the last score of the game to wrap up a 39-24 victory.

In a match they could have won, Whitby will be disappointed to only come away with a try scoring bonus point. Man of the match went to Livermore.