Whitby Maroons’ magical season continued on Saturday as they won through to the semi-finals of the Yorkshire Trophy against higher league opposition.
Maroons made the long journey to face a Baildon side which was on the up, having won three of their last four games.
Whitby were missing several front line players due to unavailability and illness, making the game an uphill task.
Whitby won the toss and elected to play into the breeze for the first half, the first 20 minutes defied expectations with Whitby’s forwards taking the game to Baildon, with Luke Brown and Mitch Cannon making major inroads.
After this, Baildon began to gain a foothold in the game with any indiscretion in the Whitby half being punished by Baildon’s metronomic kicker scoring three penalties from wide angles.
Before half-time Whitby began to assert their dominance in the set piece and Baildon’s transgressions added up, resulting in their outside centre being sent to the sin bin.
Seeing a chance to capitalise and after a brief period of play, another strong Whitby scrummage allowed centre Sam Webster to run through the gap left by the sin binned player to score a fine try.
Stuart Gregson converted, leaving the score at half-time 9-7 to Baildon.
Whitby started the second half with renewed enthusiasm after the late score in the first half. As Whitby were now playing with the wind, it allowed their full back Stuart Gregson to kick a penalty to put the Maroons ahead.
Experienced skipper Steve Allen was using his kicking game to good effect to pin Baildon back.
Neil Waterfield who is regaining his focus after a brief spell back in association football was providing a valuable outlet in the lineout giving the home jumpers a torrid time.
Another dominant scrum in Baildon’s half resulted in a penalty for Whitby, and quick thinking by Steve Allen saw him produce a perfectly weighted cross kick for winger Scott Armstrong to beat three defenders to score.
Baildon then began to lose discipline with their lock forward been sin binned for dissent.
Whitby then began to assert physical dominance at both the set piece and breakdown, winning the majority of ball, this was rewarded when, off a disrupted Baildon lineout prop forward Bruce Reed crashed over to score.
The Maroons continued to keep Baildon hemmed in their own half, when off a Connor Clements turn over, veteran Pete Stentiford sniped over.
Baildon did rally forcing a late yellow card for Luke Brown but Whitby’ s defensive efforts proved successful and Whitby kept them out leaving the final score Baildon 9-27 Whitby.
Stand-in scrum half Pete Stentiford did a fine job disrupting Baildon round the fringe and Whitby’s veterans Matt Russell and Steve Allen used their big match experience to control the game.
Youngsters Nathan Kaz, Connor Clements, Luke Brown, Bruce Reed and Mitch Cannon all put the effort into a solid forward effort.
After the match acting manager Oliver Roberts said: “We had at least five out today but such was the effort put in by the young players who came in they were not missed - everybody in the squad did themselves proud.
“This was a great day for the club and we can now look forward to a semi-final in the New Year.”
Depending on the draw Whitby will now face either Northallerton or Bramley in the semi-final.
Both these sides ply their trade in Yorkshire Three and meet on 24 January at Northallerton.
Whitby Gazette man of the match: Neil Waterfield - getting rid of his rust to get back to his best.