Whitby foiled only by Doncaster late surge

WHITBY Rugby Club under 17s hosted Doncaster in the preliminary round of the Yorkshire Cup, in a repeat of last year’s semi-final.

Whitby started brightly making several bursts with strong running by Jack Braithwaite and Cam Leadley but were thwarted by Doncaster’s strong defence.

Whitby’s front five were beginning to gain an advantage over the well-drilled Doncaster pack and the South Yorkshire side were playing on the break.

But any possible attack was stopped by the tackling of Joe Lenton, Sam Webster and Connor Clennan.

However, as the half wore on, Doncaster were winning the lineouts and when they got the ball they were able to get a rolling maul going, driving towards the Whitby line.

On several occasions, only tenacious defence by the Whitby forwards kept Doncaster out.

Whitby’s only breaks were occuring through the back row of Josh Clough, Adam Nixon and Steven Cuthbert.

Mitch Eglon was also producing some good work in and around the break down but any breaks by Whitby were snuffed out and the half drew to a close with a scoreless stalemate.

The second half started with Whitby trying to play the ball around, attacking down both wings with Matt Kendrew and Charlie Ashford, who was dominating the left wing with his runs and his defensive tackling.

Bruce Reed was winning a lot of ball in and around the rucks, however, after 20 minutes of the second half with the game still scoreless, Whitby lost influential forward Steven Cuthbert.

Doncaster took advantage, breaking through the middle and after a couple of minutes being held up on the Whitby line, they finally broke through to score the first try.

Now Whitby were chasing the game with Jack Braithwaite and Josh Shutt trying to crash their way through but to no avail.

Whitby were attacking but were leaving gaps at the back and only fine tackling by Ryan Skidmore and Charlie Ashford and some big hits by Mitch Eglon kept Doncaster out.

The Whitby defence were spread over the pitch and again Doncaster broke through the middle and scored their second try.

With only five minutes to go, Whitby threw everything at Doncaster with James Newton and Bruce Reed working hard to keep the ball at the Doncaster tryline.

However, with the last play signalled, Whitby lost the ball at the Doncaster line and Doncaster took the ball and ran the length of the pitch to score.

This game was played in great spirit with both teams a credit to their clubs and the final score did not reflect how close the game was until the final 20 minutes.

Man of the match was chosen by Doncaster and was awarded to Bruce Reed.

Whitby u17s 0 Doncaster U17s 17