Saturday League third division champions Whitby RFC completed a league and cup double with a 3-2 win against Falsgrave Reserves in a keenly-contested Frank White Trophy final on Easter Monday.
The champions seemed unsettled by a strong start from Falsgrave and Lee Smythe’s team should have taken the lead on five minutes, but striker Mark Reddy sent his shot wide with only keeper Sam Gale to beat from 15 yards.
Slowly but surely Ste Mothersdale’s side got into the game but it was Falsgrave who had the next chance, youngster Zak Hansen firing his effort straight at Gale in the 17th minute.
Less than a minute later, Whitby right-winger Paul Jobling forced a fine save from Falsgrave keeper Shaun Gough with a powerful cross-shot.
Shortly afterwards the dangerous Jobling fired in another testing cross and striker Marc Usher headed powerfully into the net but his effort was ruled out for offside much to the relief of the Falsgrave supporters.
Falsgrave defender Clayton Walker, who looked dangerous from setpieces, headed over in the 21st minute and from the next Whitby move they finally broke the deadlock.
Excellent work on the right flank from Usher saw him control the ball expertly and send in a cracking cross, which was despatched by left-winger Mikey Kilpatrick from close range.
Whitby were now dominant and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead nine minutes before the break, midfielder Sam Richardson and Usher involved in the build-up and the latter crossing for attacking midfielder Ste Ross to turn and shoot past Gough from three yards out.
Left-back Konrad Sygitowicz, who shone for Falsgrave, then made a strong run through the Whitby midfield in the 40th minute and fired from range but his effort flew wide of the target.
Falsgrave stepped up a gear after the break and within a minute of the restart Mark Reddy had fired another shot straight at Gale.
Three minutes later Falsgrave were back in the game when Walker headed in a superb free-kick, but they made the fatal error of switching off as soon as they have scored, Whitby restoring their three-goal lead straight from the kick-off, Usher’s deflected shot looping over the helpless Gough.
Hansen broke down the left wing in the 55th minute and his shot crept across the face of goal and then Mark Reddy latched onto the ball but his shot was cleared off the line.
Sub Ronnie Cook should have scored a second just after the hour mark, but the Falsgrave forward’s tame header, after a fine header on from his fellow substitute Theo James, was easily gathered by Gale.
Midway through the second half Falsgrave were awarded a penalty, Hansen’s pace seeing him break free of the Whitby defence and he was clipped inside the penalty area - despite Whitby claims he was outside - by keeper Gale.
Lee Sutton’s powerful penalty was too strong for Gale to handle, the Whitby man getting a glove on the shot but the power saw it find the net and Falsgrave sensed a comeback was on the cards. Only fine defending from the outstanding Dave Welham at centre-back and left-back James Inglis kept the champions in front.
Falsgrave pushed forward looking for a leveller, but when Walker was forced off with an injury five minutes from time it looked like the odds were against them.
The 10 men of Falsgrave refused to give up though and sub Joe Sunter set up Hansen late on and his overhead kick fizzed across goal with Cook unable to get a touch to force the ball in, but Whitby held on for the win, sparking wild celebrations among their players and fans at the final whistle.
A delighted Mothersdale said after the match: “We did the damage in the first half with those two goals, we then paid the price for a couple of slips in the second half but we had enough to hold on for the win.
“I am chuffed to bits to win this final to complete a league and cup double in my first full season in charge of the team, and we also finished runners-up in the League Trophy so it has been a great season.
“I think our centre-half Dave Welham was superb for us, while Paul Jobling was lively on the right wing.
“I would also like to commiserate with Falsgrave Reserves, if they manage to keep that team together they have a great chance of getting promotion next season, they are a strong side.”
Falsgrave boss Smythe added: “We worked hard to get back into the game after the interval but conceding that third goal so soon after scoring our first was the turning point, it made it very hard for us.
“All the lads worked hard, and I think Joe Sunter made a difference with his passing when he came on as a late sub.”