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Home > News > Seaham 9 - Whitby 18
Your News Seaham 9 - Whitby 18

Whitby might well have been forgiven for thinking they were coming to Seaham for an easy match, given their recent form and the fact that they'd ran out such convincing winners way back in October. However, in spite of the result, they will have returned to North Yorkshire following the game knowing they'd been in a tough game.

The game got off to a frenetic start with both packs looking to establish the upper hand. Seaham looked more than comfortable in the set pieces and the visitors shaded the possession in the loose. However, the hosts defended extremely well and stifled all of their visitors' early efforts. They looked dangerous on the counter as well and fly half Dave Davison distributed some quality ball out to his backs.

Seaham's pressure looked to paying dividends midway through the half when Dave Davison put them 6-0 ahead courtesy of two converted penalties after the visitors had transgressed within their 22 on both occasions. With the home pack harrying the opposition into enforced errors, a shock looked to be on the cards.

Seaham lost whatever advantage they'd earned shortly after registering the second penalty when prop Dave Drinkwater was shown a yellow card for stamping. The hosts held out well for the majority of the ten minute period only for poor tackling to let them down and allow one of the Whitby centres to cross the line in the left corner virtually untouched to narrow the margin to a point. Fortunately for Seaham, the visitors had less luck with the conversion, so at least they retained their single point lead.

Both sides continued to attack well down the flanks but young Dean Armstrong had a strong defensive mindset and single-handedly prevented quite a few scores with some astute defence. The remainder of the half passed without major incident and Mr Cruise blew for the interval with Seaham enjoying a slight edge.

Half time: SEAHAM (6) Whitby (5)

Early in the second half, Seaham looked to be holding their own until an unforced error turned the game away from them. After turning opposition ball over in their own 22, Seaham's pack recycled well and the ball was placed back on their side of the ruck. However, when prop Gary Lynn tried to clear it into touch it was charged down and deflected cruelly towards Seaham's goal line. The visitors were up quickest and won the race to touch down to the left of the posts and go 10-6 ahead.

Although the hosts were able to keep snapping at the heels of the league leaders, lady luck did not appear to be on their side. A sequence of handling errors, missed tackles and charged down clearance attempts were to hamper their efforts at getting back into the game. The penalty count didn't serve them too well either as they were punished on numerous occasions for going off their feet at the breakdown.

A brief exchange of penalties midway through the half saw the scores increase to 13-9 in favour of the visitors with Davison notching a hat-trick of successful kicks. Whitby were to have the last laugh however when their number 8 crossed the line for a try with ten minutes remaining to stretch their lead to 18-9.

Although Seaham were up for the challenge of chasing a bonus point, their valiant efforts were stifled by a stern Whitby defence that seemed to justify their top of the table status. The hosts launched numerous attacks but the visitors held their ground and earned a hard-fought victory.

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