Talismanic prop Gildroy back for must-win clash

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Whitby Maroons travel north on Saturday to face Prudhoe who, like Whitby, have faced a torrid season.

The Newcastle-based side have lost all of their 12 games so far this season, however like Whitby they have improved over the campaign has gone on and have gained more bonus points than the Maroons, so it will not be an easy game.

Matt Russell and Andy Grady remain long-term injury casualties for Whitby, while Shane Young and Sam Webster are both unavailable.

On the plus side, talismanic James Gildroy returns at prop as does John Hatton at scrum half with Phil Stentiford on the wing.

Promising young lock Luke Brown gets his second start of the season in a must-win match for Whitby.

Prudhoe failed to turn up for the home game at Whitby earlier this season, citing a player shortage.

This match has now been rearranged for Saturday January.

Maroons are currently 14 points behind Hartlepool – the team they defeated two weeks ago in their only league win of the season so far – but there are 14 games left to play.

The Whitby side also have a game in hand, while Hartlepool have to come to the Showfield, so there is still some optimism that they could retain their status in the second tier by the end of the season.

First team coach Darryl Grason said: “What could undermine us that we have a very small squad compared to the rest of the teams in the league.”

Tomorrow’s game at Prudhoe is Whitby’s last game of this year until they play Redcar at Whitby on Saturday January 4.