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By Dave Farrell
Date: 13/1/2002

Doncaster 18 (8) Whitehaven 20 (10)
Haven arguably didn't hit the heights of their two previous games but came out of this with a good away win


Haven arguably didn't hit the heights of their two previous games but came out of this with a good away win and contributed to an exciting game, that was in doubt to the end . The Dragons fielded a fair team on paper with names such as Mansson ,Moana and a host of players with super league pedigrees . They hadnt made the best of starts to the season and certainly started the game as if they had something to prove . The home team playing with flair and enthusiams really dominated the first half hour , scoring through Centre Irving (ex Leeds) a try and two goals to lead 8 nil . Indeed it could have been more had it not been fore some resolute defence from the Haven . However in the 10 minutes before the break Haven turned it round capitalising on two Dragons errors to score trys through Wesley Wilson and David Seeds and with a Paul ONeill goal they held a 10-8 lead at the break . In a pulsating second half the Dons wrested back the lead through two Irving penaties before some good work from Aaron Lester and Gary Smith put Mark Wallace in for a try at the corner 14-12 to the Haven . Back came the Dragons to score through winger Jason Lee to take the lead 18-12. But with 10 minutes remaining it was the Haven who prevailed . A short pass from Aaron Lester put Steven Kirkbride in for a try from short range . Paul O'neill goal made the score 20-18 and though the Dragons had chances in the dying minutes the Haven hung on for a well earned victory .
Good individual performances from Aaron Lester and another improved display from Mark Wallace though MOM award has to be forward sub Tony Cunningham whose driving midfield runs really relieved the pressure in the second half and set up the positions from which we then scored . A pleased Paul Cullen afterwards admitted it wasnt as good a performance as we have seen , but he commended the team on showing character and determination to get the result when they were under the cosh for long periods of the game.
Whitehaven fielded: Wesley Wilson, Mark Wallace, David Seeds, Spencer Miller, Paul O'Neill, Leroy Joe, Steve Kirkbride, Phil Sherwen, Aaron Lester, Dean Vaughan, Gary Smith, Chris McKinney, Gary Purdham Subs: Marc Jackson, Ryan Campbell, Graeme Morton(pictured), Tony Cunningham
Doncaster started well but as in the recent past Haven had the ultimately winning guts and stamina. Tries from Wesley Wilson, David Seeds, Mark Wallace, Steve Kirkbride. Paul O'Neill made two conversions. It was try from Steve Kirkbride that gave us victory. Attendance just under a thousand.
Referee: Colin Morris


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