Whitby Maroons bounce back in style with Richmondshire victory

Sam Webster touches down for Whitby in their home win
Sam Webster touches down for Whitby in their home win

Whitby Maroons hosted Richmondshire in the hope of rebounding from last week’s last-gasp loss to North Shields.

Before the game Whitby were dealt a hammer blow, losing two players on the morning of the game, meaning Anth Craig and Phil Stentiford were called in at the last minute.

Whitby started poorly, struggling at the scrum for the first time this season and the backs were struggling to assert themselves as well.

The Maroons were helped by Richmondshire’s full-back been sent to the sin-bin for an illegal shoulder charge.

One shining light was Connor Clements, having shifted to the wing, continued his fine start to the season as within 10 minutes he pirouetted his way down the wing to cross in the right-hand corner.

Stu Gregson converted to make the score 7-0.

After this Whitby stopped playing, dropping passes, falling off tackles and giving away needless penalties.

Whitby lost makeshift prop-forward Richard Eglon, forcing another re-shuffle of the pack, Richmondshire slowly forced their way down field scoring a converted try to tie the score 7-7.

A stern word from captain Gordon Bland kicked Whitby into life, with Jamie Alison and Jack Reeves shutting down any potential attacks from Richmondshire’s backs, with Dave Bland and Oliver Telfer doing the same in the forwards.

From this defence, Aaron Jones made an interception and waltzed his way 80 yards down the pitch, ably supported by Rich Hare, who acted as a link man for Sam Webster to score in the left-hand corner which was again converted by Gregson for a 14-7 lead.

The hosts steadily grew into the game with the influential Luke Brown starting to make ground at will, while ably supported by fellow lock Dan Marsay.

Whitby’s dangerous back line was living up to its reputation picking holes at will with full-back Gregson scything his way through the Richmondshire defence to score and convert his own try before setting up Bland to make the score 26-7 at half-time.

Whitby turned around at half-time looking to continue the way that they finished the first half.

The Maroons struck quickly with number eight George Reeves crossing quickly to make the score 33-7.

Whitby’s cause was aided when Richmondshire’s hooker was sent off for a trip on Gregson.

The hosts were now dominating the line-out with Craig winning everything in the air, allowing Whitby to maintain possession and pressure.

Forwards Bruce Reed and Justin Mayne were able to carry the ball over gain-line and give the dangerous backs good ball to do their damage.

Whitby struck again midway through the second half, fly-half Webster scoring his second try in the form of a 40-yard effort under the posts, converted by Gregson.

The Maroons were now in complete control, with a lack of accuracy stopping them from scoring more past the 14-man visitors.

Whitby did however get the last laugh when off a dominant scrum, Reeves, now playing centre, crashed his way over for another converted score, making the final score 47-7.

The man of the match award went to Clements.

Maroons travel to Whitley Bay on Saturday, with the Harlequins travelling to face Middlesbrough 3rds.