Maroons win at Wallsend

Whitby Maroons' Steve Allen makes a tackle in his side's victory at Wallsend
Whitby Maroons' Steve Allen makes a tackle in his side's victory at Wallsend

Whitby Maroons ended a run of five league defeats when they claimed a 25-14 success at Wallsend.

With a host of players including Nathan Kaz, Nick Beaumont and Tom Rose absent from the squad, Steve Allen returned at fly-half and Jack Pearson came in at centre for the Durham and Northumberland Division Two clash.

Ollie Roberts was recalled on the wing and Adam Wilson made his first team debut at hooker, with Anth Craig back on the bench after three weeks out with an injury.

The Maroons started well and in-form Luke Brown made a great run into the home 22.

Some quick interpassing saw the visitors presented with a great chance to open the scoring, but with the line at his mercy, a Whitby man contrived to drop the ball.

Against the run of play, Wallsend gained a foothold in the Whitby 22 with a five-yard scrum following a series of penalties for coming in at the side of a ruck.

The home number eight picked up and fed his scrum- half who broke a weak tackle to put the winger in for a try in the corner, making it 5-0 to the Tynesiders.

Whitby were still the better side with the front row of Wilson, Phil Coverdale and Bruce Reed providing a solid platform for the backs to work off.

After forcing their way into Wallsend territory, a cynical piece of foul play by the home side gave Maroon’s prolific full-back Stu Gregson the chance to kick a penalty, reducing the deficit to two points in the process.

The Maroons’ 15-man open style of play was gradually stretching Wallsend and a flowing backs move saw Gregson chip ahead and win the race for the ball for a superb try under the posts.

Inexplicably, this went unconverted, but Whitby still held the lead at 8-5.

On 25 minutes, Craig came off the bench, replacing Wilson who had done an excellent job on his first start.

Ten minutes later, Jack Reeves – revelling in his preferred position on the wing – beat three players before offloading to the supporting Craig who beat the final man comfortably to go in under the posts for a try converted by Gregson.

Trailing 15-5 at the interval, Wallsend started the second period strongly and they scored a long-range drop goal and a penalty to make the score 15-11, putting the game in the balance.

The Maroons responded superbly with some positive play orchestrated by Dave Bland and Allen, which opened up the opposition.

Connor Clements, who was enjoying his best game of the season, crossed in the corner to extend the Whitby lead to nine points.

The second row partnership of Brown and Dan Marsay were making things difficult for the opposition, and it was Brown – a player who is emerging as a potent force in the loose – who crashed over after another sweeping six-man move to make the game safe.

Wallsend reduced the deficit by three points in the closing stages, but Whitby were not to be denied their second win of the campaign.