Maroons see off Sedgefield to blow promotion race wide open

The Maroons on the charge. Pictures by Jenny Brown-Wood.
The Maroons on the charge. Pictures by Jenny Brown-Wood.

Whitby Maroons entertained mid-table Sedgefield in front of a large crowd on Saturday in the hopes that a win would keep pressure on second-placed Whitley Bay in Durham Northumberland Two.

The hosts started playing up the hill and against the elements, but still had the better of the opening exchanges, with the dominant front row of Nathan Kaz, Richard Hare and Bruce Reed pressurising the larger Sedgefield pack.

Whitby’s dominance was nullified when Sedgefield broke down the right wing against the run of play to make the score 7-0.

The Maroons struck back quickly with a dominant scrum, pushing Sedgefield back to their own try line for number eight Jack Braithwaite to dot down and level the scores at 7-7.

Whitby continued to keep the pressure on Sedgefield and a loose kick set winger Aaron Jones free, who burst through three tackles to score and put Whitby 14-7 to the good.

Sedgefield showed great strength of character and came back, using Whitby’s illdiscipline to their advantage and barged their way over to level the scores 14-14.

Whitby regathered the kick-off and fed fly-half Sam Webster, who crossed the line to make the score 19-14 at the half-time interval.

The home side turned around in the second half and continued how they left off, with full-back Stu Gregson feeding centre Connor Clennan to push Whitby’s advantage to 24-14.

Whitby continued to pressure Sedgefield with centre George Reeves making in-roads into the defensive line and back-rowers Connor Clements and Callum Smith covering every blade of grass in defence.

Good carrying from Justin Mayne and Oliver Telfer allowed winger Aaron Jones to cross the line again to make it 31-14.

Scrum-half David Bland orchestrated Whitby’s next attack, putting winger Jamie Allison in in the corner for 36-14.

Sedgefield were now tiring and Whitby took advantage with veteran Oliver Roberts crossing in the corner for 41-14, before Dan Marsay bundled over for his first try of the season to wrap the scoring up at 48-14.

Man of the match was Connor Clements.

Whitley Bay’s loss to Hartlepool now means that Whitby are two points behind with a game in hand, opening the promotion race back up.

Whitby Harlequins lost 75-5 with the returning Grant Smith scoring.

Although results on the field have not been what they would have wanted, the club’s second-string team has made great strides throughout the course of this season.