Whitby Maroons hosted Newton Aycliffe on a bitterly cold day last Saturday and came away with a 29-19 victory.
The hosts started well playing with the slope, as centres George Reeves and Connor Clennan made inroads into the Newton Aycliffe back-line.
Rampaging lock pairing Jack Braithwaite and Luke Brown also put the forwards firmly on the front foot and Whitby were camped in the Newton Aycliffe 22.
The visitors however, held firm, stopping Whitby’s attacks for the first 25 minutes of the game, until a 40-yard run in from Sam Webster broke the deadlock and handed the Maroons a 7-0 advantage.
Whitby received the kick-off and cleared up field and after an uncharacteristic series of errors from the Newton Aycliffe back three, Aaron Jones crossed in the corner to make it 12-0.
The hosts were now in complete control, with the endless energy of their athletic back-row of Anthony Craig, David Bland and Connor Clements meaning Whitby were never without support.
After a neat piece of interplay led to Whitby being denied what seemed a good try right on the stroke of half-time, this left the score at 12-0 to the hosts at the half-time interval.
Whitby kicked off the second half hoping to pick up where they left off in the first and continue their dominance of the fixture.
The Maroons worked their way into Newton Aycliffe territory well, controlling possession and biding their time until there was space to exploit, which was done excellently by winger Jamie Allison, who scored in the corner to make the score 17-0.
Whitby then continued their dominance with the front row of Oliver Telfer, Nath Kaz and Bruce Reed controlling the set-piece and giving their side a steady supply of ball.
Whitby struggled to convert any of this pressure into more points, until Gordon Bland produced a sublime chip which he re-gathered and fed to Aaron Jones, who raced away to touch down and make the score 24-0 to the Maroons in the process.
Newton Aycliffe grew into the game, keeping the ball for an extended period and putting Whitby under pressure, and the away side capitalised on two uncharacteristic defensive errors to put themselves back in the game at 24-12.
Whitby responded well though, with the added physicality of John Hatton on the wing making an impact and the fresh legs of Dan Marsay and Justin Mayne freshening up the weary Maroons’ forward pack.
The game was put beyond doubt for the hosts when full-back Stu Gregson got on the end of box kick to make the score 29-12.
Newton Aycliffe had the final say however, scoring a consolation try to make the scoreline 29-19 to Whitby at full-time.
Man of the match went to Gordon Bland after a solid display for the victorious Whitby Maroons.
Whitby Harlequins struggled playing against Hartlepool BBOB, losing 57-22 in a spirited performance tackling a team who played Whitby Maroons three years ago before suffering several relegations.