Action pictures can be purchased from photographer Mike McKenzie
Derby Whitewash over Jamland
GED Stokes' job as coach of Workington Town appeared to be hanging by a thread after his charges were torn apart by ten-try Whitehaven in the Cumbrian derby at the Recreation Ground.
Stokes and chairman Dave Bowden both declined to be interviewed by the media.
And the coach kept his players on the field for a 20 minute meeting following the final hooter while many Town fans who had made the short journey down the coast to see their side embarrassed by their neighbours were calling for the Kiwi's head.
In the opening five minutes the visitors held their own, with debutant Franco Kmet finding space on the right Craig Calvert had to be alert to his kick through, knocking the ball dead.
Town would have been looking to exert some early pressure but full-back Liam Bretherton spilled Marc Jackson's booming drop out on half way and suddenly the home side had possession.
On seven minutes Haven thought they had got the first try, Spencer Miller charging onto a ball and eventually forcing his way over, only to be pulled up for a double movement.
Town were struggling to get clear of their line, and even giving the ball to talisman Tanni Lavulavu didn't do the trick, as he was smashed every time he touched it by Haven's Richard Fletcher. One particular bone-crunching tackle, on nine minutes, rocked the whole ground and left Lavulavu reeling.
Whitehaven were beginning to turn the screw and it was a question of when and not if the first try would come.
It arrived courtesy of Gary Broadbent on 14 minutes, who span out of a tackle and touched down after excellent work from Aaron Lester and Steve Maden. Carl Rudd converted.
Facing tough competition for the hooking berth from Aaron Smith, Carl Sice and Greame Mattinson Lester, regarded as the best nine ever to wear Chocolate, Blue and Gold, has reinvented himself as a loose-forward and his impact on the game as Haven blew Workington off the park over the next 25 minutes was immense. The next try, on 20 minutes, came from another player who had his best game of the season, Carl Rudd. Rudd isn't renown for his physicality, and Dean Vaughan doesn't usually miss any tackles, so it came as something of a shock with the Haven half-back bounced off Vaughan and Shaun Lunt on his way under the posts for a score which he converted.
Whitehaven were now playing with relentless ferocity, and from the kick off Scott Teare went on a mighty charge leaving defenders in his wake before giving a peach of an off-load to Rudd. If Rudd had given a better ball to Maden it would have been try number three but the pass left a little to be desired despite Maden's hack on the chance was gone.
But with Town's big runners getting little change from Teare, Fletcher and Steve Trindall there wasn't much they could do to relive the pressure.
Their best bet seemed to be to slow down the play-the-ball and try and knock Haven out of their stride, but eventually Liam Campbell was sin-binned for that offence and two tackles later Howard Hill (24) strolled over the line unopposed after stepping a defender. Rudd converted.
The tries were now coming thick and fast and on 29 minutes Scott McAvoy got his name on the scoresheet. Maden chipped on the last and chased hard on Martyn Wilson forcing him to kick it into touch and present Haven with more yet possession near the Town line. From the scrum they attacked again and Marc Bainbridge span a great long ball out to McAvoy who charged over. Rudd again converted. From the kick off Haven took one drive up the middle and then the ball was given to Rudd who stepped his man and went on a run. With defenders clambering back he slipped the ball to Fletcher and the big second row ignored the support of several team mates as he galloped clear of the chasing Town backs. He had options left and right but didn't need them, showing great pace to run 60 yards and score under the posts (31) . Rudd tacked on the two extra points and the visitors looked shell shocked. There was time before the hooter for Fletcher (36) to add his second, this time he side-stepped Andrew Beattie 20 metres out and waltzed over close to the posts to leave Carl Rudd with another simple conversion. Town came out for the second half with determined to prove that they were better then the 36 unanswered points that Haven had put on them, and they certainly did improve. It's fair to say that they actually looked quite good with the ball in hand, particularly through Craig Walsh and Campbell, but their forwards were still losing the battle up-front, meaning they had poor ball to work with. However much Town improved their first score was more to do with poor play from Haven then good play from them. Whitehaven seemed over confident and stopped doing the things that had got them into such a healthy lead in the first place. Instead they were trying to play globe-trotter rugby, forcing passes and off-loads that simply weren't on and trying to score from every phase.
It was from one such incident that Town got their first score. Miller made a great break for Haven, cutting through the Town tacklers and passing half-way.
But his ball back on the inside, when taking the tackle and setting up another phase would have been the best option, went to ground. Campbell pounced on it and raced away, fending off a couple of chasers and touching down for a try with Stephen Kirkbride converted. Ten minutes later (55) Town scored again, this time via Wilson after excellent work from Walsh.
The ex-Haven favourite showed great pace and strength to create an opening and gave the ball to Wilson on his outside at just the right moment. Kirkbride again added the extras.
However any faint hopes of a remarkable comeback were put firmly to bed when Rudd stepped through to score his second three minutes later, he missed the conversion but at 40-12 the game was in the bag. On 64 minutes Fletcher completed his hat-trick, crashing onto a flat pass for a try which Rudd converted. There was still time for more and on 70 minutes Bainbrige, who played in place of the injured John Duffy, sold a dummy that Duffy would have been proud of create a try for himself out of nothing and cap a fine display. Rudd added the extras.
The final try of the game came from McAvoy who forced his way over out wide on 74 minutes. Rudd kicked a fantastic touchline conversion to take his personal points tally to 26 and the final score to 58-12. As the Haven players left the park greeted by the adulation of their delighted supporters -- there is no better feeling then winning a local derby -- Stokes began his impromptu on field debate. Without taking anything away from Haven, who were superb, Workington will need to improved in a hurry if they are to be in NL2 promotion contention, as is their aim. Whether or not Stokes will be around to influence that improvement remains to be seen. Meanwhile in sharp contrast to Town, Barrow continue to improve clocking up over 70 in their romp against Blackpool.
Haven, 1 Gary Broadbent, 2 Craig Calvert, 3 Scott McAvoy, 4 Derry Eilbeck, 5 Steve Maden, 6 Carl Rudd, 7 Mark Bainbridge, 8 Marc Jackson, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Steve Trindall, 11 Spencer Miller, 12 Richard Fletcher, 13 Aaron Lester, Subs (all used) 14, Graeme Mattinson, 15 Leroy Joe, 16, Howard Hill, 17 Scott Teare.
Tries; Broadbent (14) Rudd (20, 59) Hill (24) McAvoy (29, 74) Fletcher (31, 36, 64) Bainbridge (70) ; Goals; Rudd 9/10.
Tries; Campbell (45) Wilson (55); Goals; Kirkbride 2/2
Sin Bin, Campbell (24) Interference,
Pens, 11-10 in Haven's favour.
Barrow 6 Haven 16..Tries..Marc Jackson, Leroy Joe and Scott McAvoy..Carl Rudd (2)goals