Whitby Maroons battle back for win against Gateshead
Whitby RFC returned to winning ways with a thrilling 32-26 comeback win at home to Gateshead in Durham Northumberland Two on Saturday, writes Bruce Reed.
The Maroons, who were looking to bounce back from a tough couple of league matches, were boosted by new signing George Speakman coming into make his league debut at scrum-half.
Whitby started the match playing against both the slope and the wind, with the match starting at a frenetic pace with neither side able to assert themselves before a succession of Whitby penalties put Gateshead in a position to score a neat try to put the visitors 7-0 up.
The home side reacted almost immediately with Alf Jacobs scoring from distance to make the score 7-5.
Gateshead countered with another well worked try to make the score 12-5 at half-time in a breathless match.
A galvanised Whitby turned around at half-time and managed to put Gateshead under pressure at set piece but the dangerous Gateshead full-back scored on the breakaway to make the score 19-5.
Whitby hit back immediately with Stu Gregson coolly slotting a penalty to make the score 19-8.
The game swung back in Gateshead’s favour with another try coming from a defensive mistake to push the score to 26-8 and the points looked to be heading back to the North East.
The Maroons showed spirit to bring the score back when the impressive Jacobs finished off a well-worked backs move to make the score 26-13.
Whitby continued in the ascendancy when captain Gordon Bland snuck over to score under the post and make the score 26-20.
The home side’s strong finish continued when George Reeves recovered a pinpoint kick to push Whitby into the lead 27-26.
Whitby made the match safe when some great line-out defence turned the ball over allowing Reeves to make the score 32-26 at full-time in a pulsating Durham Northumberland Two match.
In a great finish Whitby were happy to come out the victors and will hope this will be a turning point in the league season and will continue on winning ways this weekend at fellow mid-table side North Shields.
The man of the match was Jacobs (pictured right) and the match sponsor was Parkol.