Hartlepool bounced back from last weeks poor performance with a 24-16 home win against Whitby in scorching temperatures.
The away side started the brighter and after 5 minutes of play, a series of forwards drives saw the ball passed out for the Whitby centre to barge over. Whitby then extended their lead with a swiftly struck penalty to give the Yorkshire side an 8 nil lead.
Pool nearly got back into game with a flowing move that saw centre Jason Norman break over the gain line and feed Liam Lester who was stopped 5 metres short. Scrum half Chris Williamson, who was had a fine game at scrum half, took a quick penalty from the half way line and was stopped on the 10 metre line with a fine tackle. With 10 minutes remaining Pool got back into the game with a deserved try. The forwards drove the ball on 3 times before Williamson switched the point of attack and fed Tom Johnson on the blind side. Johnson broke through and drew the last man to feed Norman who raced under the posts. Keagan Thomas converted to make the game 8-7 to Whitby at the break.
The second half saw Pool up the ante and dominate proceedings for long spells. Inside centre Ian Mulvihill crashed over following a quick recycle to score his second try of the season and put Pool in the lead. Andrew Woodward added a third try after he was driven over by fellow flanker Kevin Maguire to extend the lead. Jason Norman made a number of breaks in the second period and was adjudged to have passed forward on two occasions with Whitby defence beaten.
Pool scored a fourth try to secure the bonus point in the 71st minute. A miss pass from Thomas was picked up by Liam Lester who scored his first try of the campaign. The conversion struck the upright to leave Pool 24-11 up.
In the last minute of the game, Whitby scored a try in the far corner to give the score some respectability. Credit to the Yorkshire side who never stopped battling. Final score 24-16.
Apart from the first 10 minutes and the last 5 minutes, Pool dominated the game, Coaches Sean Wiles and Peter Iveson asked for an improved performance after the Rockliffe defeat and the home side responded in some style with backs and forwards combining well. Kevin “Squid” Maguire in the forwards was the pick of the bunch in a fine team performance.