HARLEQUINS snatched a dramatic cup win at Middlesbrough thanks to a late try from David Sole on his debut.
Whitby travelled with a young side to face the experienced Middlesbrough side.
With both sides wanting to progress in the North Yorkshire Trophy this match was a tough contest for both sides.
The game started at a frenetic pace with neither side able to establish any dominance in the first 20 minutes.
Dyran Sullivan and David Mahaffy both played vital roles in the opening act of the game the only clear cut chance in the opening 20 minutes was Matt Kendrew crossing under the posts, only for the try to be chalked off for a forward pass earlier in the move.
From this, Middlesbrough gained confidence and their big forward pack began to be become more dominate, with only stern defence from Daniel Cairns, James Gildroy and Grant Smith preventing Middlesbrough from scoring until Whitby’s defence finally wilted to allow Middlesbrough to score off a rolling maul.
Whitby struck back quickly with the young back line of Joe Lenton, Aaron Jones and veteran John Hatton taking Whitby in to the 22 after a series of pick up and gos from Dan Marsay and Lee Bryan, allowing Philip Steniford to sneak over the line from half a yard out.
The first half seemed to be finishing with Middlesbrough in the ascendency until a stray pass from their outside half led to a Christian Pollock interception try from 80 yards.
The second half started with a controversial try for the home side running in from 40 yards.
This struck Whitby and led to Middlesbrough scoring another try leading to the score being 17-12 in the home side’s favour, as Whitby responded with a period sustained pressure in the Middlesbrough 22 until Tom Steyet chipped over the top and collected himself to score a superb solo try.
With the scores level both sides pushed for a win in the final 15 minutes. Whitby won a penalty on the 10m line, but Pollock missed the kick.
Whitby brought veterans Tim Richardson and Jim Fountain into the mix to shore up their final push.
Entering the final 30 seconds, it seemed no side was going to be able to force the win, however as Whitby set a scrum 40m out, number eight and captain Bruce Reed fed debutant Sole, who showed lightning pace to outrun the Middlesbrough back line to snatch victory.
Reed said: “It was a hard game but we managed to pull together and come through.
“Now our attention can turn to the future. It’s good to see the team progressing well.”
Middlesbrough 17 Whitby 22