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Withernsea RUFC step up a level


Withernsea RUFC 14

Marist RUFC 39


AFTER A successful 2017-18 season, Withernsea moved up to East Yorkshire’s Merit One League and could not have asked for a tougher fixture against last year’s losing play-off finalists.

The challenge was made even greater as the visitors turned up with a squad of 25+ players, whereas Withernsea were struggling to get 17, due to injury and illness.

The game started with Marist well-warmed up and they came out of the blocks with a real purpose. From a lost ball in the line-out, Withernsea were stretched and unable to plug the gap out wide, where Marist’s massive, but quick, prop was unstoppable.

The same player used his size and pace to crash through again within a few minutes, this time benefitting from a lack of tackling from the home team defenders. With only 10 minutes on the clock, it looked like it would be a long and difficult afternoon.

At this point, however, Withernsea showed a lot of steel and started to become more competitive. Several forays up the pitch now led to a more even game, but Withernsea were stifled by the visitors’ line speed, which shut down any space.

Having failed to penetrate the Marist line, Withernsea were then punished further with two more tries, one a well-worked ball through hands, but the other a result of poor tackling. Half-time saw a disappointing score of 0-22, with some serious questions about what the final score might be.

Withernsea, however, started the second half brightly and were enjoying more possession and space, as the visitors tired. Good defence kept Withernsea out until Mike Penny took a quick penalty and used his silky skills to weave a way to the line.

Withernsea now were totally dominant but could not add to this first try of the season.

Marist though were still dangerous, and against the run of play broke up field to add two tries to their previous scores.

Withernsea kept trying, with Alex Kirk, this year’s captain, who led well by example, being bundled into touch as he crossed the line. Withernsea were rewarded by another try when Dan Wardman took advantage of Marist spending more time arguing with the crowd. He took a penalty quickly and sprinted down the line and rounded the full-back. Marist still had time to add one more try and end the game 39-14 to the good.

A disappointing result for Withernsea, but a lot of positives came out of this, not least Liam Bailey’s excellent debut in the back row, which saw him make many positive contributions to the game.

The other positive was the unveiling of the new kit, which has received generous sponsorship from Park Dean Resorts, Greene King Brewery (from the Plough Inn, Hollym), AAA Security and Graham Marshall’s Butcher’s in Keyingham.

Many thanks go to match ball sponsors the Brown Brothers (Kevin, Hayden and Steve) and to James and Debbie from Waxholme Trading Estate and Storage, for their support. There is no game this weekend.

The Holderness Gazette - Serving News to the Holderness Region