SLIDESHOW: Whitby Maroons one step closer to going up

A first half display as good as anything Whitby Maroons have produced all season saw off seventh-placed Seaham at the Showfield on Saturday.

The Maroons opened in brilliant fashion by putting a furious tempo on the game.

A superb back move which went through many pairs of hands saw full back Ollie Roberts score in the corner.

The scrum with Luke Brown and Mitch Cannon in the boiler house was much-improved and with the ball continuing to come from the set-piece Nathan Kaz, revelling in his new responsibility as first team hooker, sneaked in on the blind side.

More glorious rugby was to follow and with centre Gordon Bland pulling the strings and Mitch Cannon bulldozing huge holes in the Seaham defence.

Outstanding winger Jack Reeves jinked his way through on two occasions to increase the home lead.

The try of the match came when Gordon Bland, in his longest run of the season, set off from 60m out towards the Seaham line.

After a series of mesmerising side-steps, the mercurial centre had just in enough gas to go in under the sticks. Stu Gregson added three conversions.

Seaham were hurting and after some powerful play by their forwards, they did well to create a try wide out from their forwards. Maroons led 36-5 at half-time.

The second half saw a total change as the referee, who seemed to even up proceedings, penalised Whitby for 12 penalties in a row.

On the back of this, the home side had little to do except get a lot of tackling practice. With some of the decisions a mystery, frustration crept in and the game as a spectacle degenerated.

Leading the tackle count was Connor Clements, chopping down far bigger opponents with exemplary bootlace tackling.

Seaham, galvanised by their excellent player coach at number eight, started to have more success in the set-piece and line-outs and a driving maul led to a well constructed score.

On one of the rare occasions that the Maroons got their hands on the ball another interpassing move involving backs and forwards saw talismanic prop Matt Russell crash over from two yards.

There was just time for replacement full back Jack Pearson to pull off the tackle of the match as with the robust Seaham second row charging for the line and looking to score, the Whitby player downed him with a superb textbook tackle.

In a game of two halves and with no little frustration in the second period Whitby held their discipline to rack up another good win.

The opening 30 minutes was as good as anything they have produced all season.

Whitby Gazette Man of the Match: Mitch Cannon – a young player who is now showing the discipline to deliver on his undoubted ability.

Whitby Maroons 43 Seaham 10