WHITBY Maroons entertained Hartlepool at the Showfield on Saturday and with Whitby battling to get out of the relegation zone and Hartlepool one place above in the league table, a win was imperative.
On a cold day with a defrosting pitch and not too much wind, conditions were good for running rugby.
After a good result against Hartlepool (23-23) away from home last weekend, the Whitby players were keen to get on with the game.
Whitby kicked off playing away from the club house and into the slight breeze.
After a couple of minutes, Whitby began to gain field position inside Hartlepool’s 22 metres.
Good play from Whitby’s forwards presented a few opportunities close to the opposition line but wrong decision making caused turn-over, allowing Hartlepool to clear their lines in each case.
One clear opportunity saw Andrew Grady running up the opposition back-line and setting the ball up.
Quick ball for the backs was moved wide with a half break from Ollie Roberts. The offload put Sam Webster clean through with a two-on-one, but the pass went to ground.
Hartlepool regained some field position and won a penalty which they kicked to put them into the lead.
Before half-time, Whitby won two kickable penalties but were unable to take advantage of the situation.
At half-time the score was 3-0 in Hartlepool’s favour.
Whitby started the second half dominantly, immediately pressuring the Hartlepool line, winning a penalty under the sticks from which they levelled at 3-3.
After the restart, Hartlepool changed tactics and started to maul the ball up the field.
This proved to be too much for the Whitby forwards who conceded an unconverted try for 3-8.
It was not long before Whitby kicked the ball through behind the Hartlepool full-back with a good chase and tackle from Anthony Craig pinning them back.
The defensive kick was charged down by Roberts who dribbled the ball over the line before touching down for a converted try, 10-8.
With Whitby ahead for the first time in the game, they seemed to go to sleep and conceded another pushover try from Hartlepool.
The visitors sealed the game with another driving maul up the field and a little chip from their number 10 put the game out of reach for Whitby at 10-20.
A consolation penalty from Whitby gave them a bonus point but this was a disappointing result with Whitby having the majority of the possession and territory.
Whitby Maroons 13 Hartlepool 20