Whitby Maroons hosted high-flying Ryton on Saturday and collected a hard-fought 7-5 victory.
The home side kicked off playing with the conditions, attacking downhill and with the wind at their backs.
Whitby started sluggishly however, having not played since February 17, and struggled to string two passes together for the opening 20 minutes.
However Whitby’s tenacious defence was proving more than a match for Ryton’s attack, meaning that the scores stayed at 0-0.
The game looked to be heading for a stalemate at half-time until a moment of brilliance from firstly Sam Webster, who put a high hanging kick into the Ryton half, dissecting the Ryton winger and full-back.
The kick was collected calmly by Luke Brown who deftly offloaded to Jack Braithwaite, who went over to score a try which was converted by Stu Gregson to make the score 7-0 at half-time.
After a disappointing first half where Whitby were lucky to be ahead, Ryton started the second half brightly and instantaneously put the home team under pressure, forcing themselves into Whitby’s half and creating chances.
Whitby’s defence held firm for 10 minutes until Ryton forced themselves over the line for an unconverted try to make the score 7-5 and set up a tense finale.
The hosts were spurred into action, controlling the pace of the game in attack and forcing Ryton into mistakes in defence.
Whitby’s superior fitness began to show, getting more people in support of the ball than the tiring Ryton pack and pressurising the opposition’s set piece, however the inability to secure their own set-piece will cause Whitby some concern.
The Maroons continued to dominate the second half and saw out the second half to win 7-5 in a hotly-contested game in which no quarter was asked or given.
Man of the match was Luke Brown.
Whitby Harlequins did not fair so well, losing 42-0 away to Sedgefield 2nds in a match that would be better quickly forgotten.
The annual gentlemen’s dinner is to be held on May 11, 7.30pm.
If you intend on going please pop in to the club and put your name down as space is limited.