Maroons’ winning run halted

Whitby Maroons lost out on the road at Redcar. Picture: Jenny Brown
Whitby Maroons lost out on the road at Redcar. Picture: Jenny Brown

Whitby RUFC’s four-match winning streak came to an end when they were beaten at Redcar in Durham and Northumberland Division Two.

Despite fielding an understrength side, the Maroons started brightly against their third-placed opponents and dominated the opening 15 minutes.

The visitors’ pack looked strong with front row of Phil Coverdale, Adam Wilson and Bruce Reed battling hard to secure possession in the scrum.

From a penalty, Whitby gained a line-out five-metres out. Catch and drive should have been the call, but off-the-top-ball was followed by a slow pass which saw Redcar swarm up and cut off the danger.

The Maroons did take the lead, however, when Stuart Gregson slotted home a 35-metre penalty.

Redcar replied soon after with a penalty under the posts after a good run from their dangerous inside centre.

Gregson had the best chance to gain the Maroons a try, but after a good run and chip, the bounce went against the flying full-back and the hosts managed to clear.

There were no more points registered before the interval. and the teams went into half-time level at 3-3.

A poor start to the second half saw the home side begin to dominate.

From a penalty 30 metres out, several visiting players switched off, expecting the kick at goal, and when Redcar took a quick tap, a soft try was the result.

The Maroons then lost Steve Allen and Janni Jacobs to injury but upped the tempo through their back-row of Anth Craig, James Newton and Connor Clements in an attempt to get back in the game.

The scrappy nature of the match continued, with both sides making multiple errors.

After Whitby had missed touch for the fourth time in a row they eventually conceded a second try as Redcar scored from a chip ahead to take a 15-3 advantage.

The Maroons did manage to put together a good move in an attempt to score a try in the closing stages which would have given them a bonus point, but the final pass was dropped which in many ways summed up the game - a lot of effort but not too much accuracy.

Coach Darryl Grason said: “This was not one of this team’s brighter days, we must now concentrate and work hard to make sure the season does not peter out and as high a finish as possible is gained.”

Whitby’s man of the match was Anth Craig, who ran and tackled hard throughout.

Tomorrow (Saturday), the Maroons entertain Ashington at the Showfield, kick off 3pm.