Skipper Gordon Bland’s hat-trick helps 14-man Whitby Maroons sweep aside North Shields

Whitby Maroons hosted North Shields on Saturday in what many expected to be a tight and nervous Durham Northumberland Two match.

By Andy Bloomfield
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 10:44 am
Whitby skipper Gordon Bland scores one of his three tries                       

Whitby skipper Gordon Bland scores one of his three tries PHOTOS BY BRIAN MURFIELD

The Maroons kicked off against the wind in the first half. The opening 10 minutes were a tense affair, with neither side able to put their stamp on the game.

Whitby fired the first meaningful shot with their powerful scrummage providing an attacking platform, but unfortunately they were unable to take advantage of it as North Shields broke away and kicked a penalty to take a 3-0 lead.

The Maroons came back quickly with centre George Reeves bursting over under the posts for a try which Stu Gregson converted to make the score 7-3.

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The match took an unexpected turn when Whitby were reduced to 14 players.

The home side kept their composure and cemented their lead going into half-time with a Stu Gregson penalty to make the score 10-3 at the interval.

At the turn around Whitby hit a purple patch with a strong setpiece and great carrying from the forwards giving the backs a great outlet for fly-half Gordon Bland to score, his try putting

Whitby 17-3 up and being the start of a highly successful afternoon for the Maroons skipper.

Whitby Maroons v North Shields

Hosts Whitby then added quick tries with Alf Jacobs barging over from close range, then Will Richardson cantering away down the blindside and Bland sniping over to make the score 36-3 with 20 minutes left.

The last 20 minutes fizzled out as a competition with second row Gavin Stainsby providing much needed glue in defence.

After a sustained period of pressure number eight Liam Swalwell crossed the line to make the score 43-3.

North Shields crossed for a late score before skipper Bland intercepted to score under the posts with the last play of the match to complete his hat-trick and make the score 50-10.

Whitby score their first try against North Shields

Whitby will now host Barnard Castle on Saturday, the first of a double header completed a week later due to postponements earlier this season.

Man of the Match: Gavin Stainsby. Match Sponsor: R & M Hare Builders.