Match Reports

Need to Knows




Useful Links

Come Back gets Nipped in Bud

By "Stan Martin"
Date: 20/1/2002

Whitehaven 32 - 10 Sheffield Eagles
WHITEHAVEN maintained touch with Northern Ford Premiership leaders Huddersfield Giants thanks to a comfortable win over Sheffield Eagles at the Recreation Ground.

Haven never let the visiting Eagles settle into any sort of rhythm, hammering their runners with awesome defensive work and then driving strongly with the ball in hand.
Sheffield actually had the best of a scrappy opening five minutes but from the moment a sharp step from Leroy Joe allowed Haven captain David Seeds to crash over for his ninth try of the season there was only ever going to be one winner. Paul O'Neil just wide with the conversion and Haven led 4-0 after eight minutes.
Sheffield did all they could to try and get back on terms with centre Richard Goddard busy and Jon Bruce running well in the forwards. However, there was no invention from the Sheffield half backs and Whitehaven were content to tackle all afternoon. It came as no surprise when, on 16 minutes, Chris McKinney found his way over for the home side's second score. Joe was again involved in the move as Haven kept the ball alive deep in the visitors half before McKinney crashed over the whitewash. O'Neil added the extras.

Whitehaven would have been well worth a ten point half-time lead but stretched their advantage right on the hooter.
Garry Purdham broke well before feeding winger Paul O'Neil who went over in the corner, before converting the effort himself to give Whitehaven a 16-0 half time lead. At half time there seemed no way back for the Eagles but after a solid first 15 minutes of the second period they showed the crowd that they were still in the game, Goddard, clearly the best player in the Eagles' team, did the hard work before putting Paul Wells in for the simplest of touch downs. Gavin Brown missed the conversion. Two minutes later the Eagles were right back in the match when Goddard again was involved in setting up a try, this time for Ian Thompson. Brown was successful with his kick and with 24 minutes still to play and the visitors trailing by just six points the game was there for the taking. However Whitehaven regrouped and, with full back Wesley Wilson screaming instructions and encouragement at his team-mates, they held out for a few minutes of further Sheffield pressure.
The Eagles then threw it away as Goddard talked a penalty on the halfway line into one 30 meters from his own line -- well within range for O'Neil who stretched Haven's lead to eight points. Sheffield heads then went down and once referee Colin Morris had disallowed a Billy Kershaw try for double movement the game was over bar the shouting. Leroy Joe was again involved as Whitehaven scored a fourth try, this time from Greame Morton, to make the score 22-10 as the game entered its last ten minutes.
A clever kick from Joe put winger Mark Wallace in for an unconverted try five minutes from time and Joe was again involved as Phil Sherwen burst through to cap a fine all round display with the closing try right on the hooter. O'Neil added the extras. Sheffield played with a lot of passion and power but just did not have enough in their arsenal to unlock a resolute Haven defence enough times to give themselves a chance.
Teams: Whitehaven; Wesley Wilson, Paul O'Neil, David Seeds (C), Howard Hill, Mark Wallace, Leroy Joe, Steve Kirkbride, Phil Sherwen, Marc Jackson, Dean Vaughan, Spencer Miller, Chris McKinney, Garry Purdham. Subs (all used) Aaron Lester, Gary Smith, Greame Morton, Tony Cunningham. Sheffield; Andy Poynter, Paul Wells, Neil Kite, Richard Goddard, Ian Thompson, Gavin Brown, Darren Callaghan, Jack Howieson, Gareth Dobson, Jon Bruce, Billy Kershaw, Andy Brent, Wayne Flynn. Subs (all used) Scott Roach, Guy Adams, Lee Trasler, Wayne Freeman. Ref, Colin Morris.


www.marras.co.uk the web site of Whitehaven Rugby League