Maroons crash back down to earth with 41-7 drubbing

Stu Gregson on the charge at Bishop Auckland
Stu Gregson on the charge at Bishop Auckland

Whitby were back on the road last Saturday and were hopeful of continuing their excellent start to the season and to keep their unbeaten run intact.

The Maroons were without suspended Connor Clements and handed a debut to Oliver Telfer after impressing in the second team.

Whitby started poorly which, allowed the strong Bishop pack to exert dominance over Whitby, especially in the scrum which was being continuously pushed back by the more experienced Bishop pack.

Whitby’s defence miraculously held on for 10 minutes but after losing Mitch Cannon to injury and the influential Luke Brown to the sin-bin, Bishop crossed for the first try of the game when pushing a scrum over the line and the number-eight having an easy job.

Whitby’s attempts at a comeback were hampered by a mixture of mistakes and ill-discipline, which hindered any attempt that the visitors managed to conjure up.

Bishop continued to apply pressure to Whitby and scored both a converted try and a penalty before half-time leaving the score 17-0.

Whitby started the second half brighter than the first, with debutant Oliver Telfer shining in the back row.

The Maroons, however, were unable to convert any pressure into points.

Disaster struck when losing captain Gordon Bland along with centre partner Aaron Jones to injury.

Whitby began to fade with Bishop Auckland re-establishing their dominance and on 50 minutes scored another converted try, thus making the match safe.

The game quickly became one-way traffic with Bishop Auckland’s experience coming to the fore, quickly scoring another two converted tries.

Whitby did launch a spirited fightback with winger John Hatton scoring a late try that was converted by Stu Gregson.

However Bishop Auckland would get the last word; launching a quick attack and crossing for another converted try before full-time, rounding off a 41-7 victory.

This was a scoreline and performance that brought this young Whitby team back down to earth, their first defeat of the season that moved them down to fourth spot in the Durham/Northumberland Division Two table.

Manager Matt Jones commented said: “You have to give credit to the opposition today, they had a game plan and executed it to the letter.

“The players are disappointed but they can’t be too hard on themselves, Bishop are a well-organised, well-drilled experienced outfit up front and we just have to learn and move on.”

Man of the match was Telfer, the young debutant impressed on his debut with a good show of tackling and forward running.

Whitby are at home to Seaton Carew this weekend as they look to bounce back.