Warriors come of age after avenging Trojan cup defeat

Richard Casanove. of Whitehall Warriors on the burst
Richard Casanove. of Whitehall Warriors on the burst

Whitehall Warriors have finally come of age - a legacy started eight years ago by first ever coach, Richard Darkes, writes Dave Beaumont.

Containing several of the original team members, they put to bed the hammering they took at Thornhill in their first year in the Yorkshire Cup.

It wasn’t long before centre, Chris Woodcock interchanged passes with wingman Simon Walker to go over wide out.

Mark Hodgson goalled from the touchline before a Trojan try was ruled out for a forward pass and another player was held up over the line.

The Whitehall team of old may have buckled under this onslaught, but their top three stalwarts Pete Williams, Andrew Johnson and Richard Casanove, led the comeback.

Williams smashed a hole through the Thornhill blockade allowing John Handscomb to blaze 70 metres to the line. A good conversion by Jamie Holroyd levelled things.

Thornhill came back even stronger and battered the Whitehall line before Handscomb intercepted and ran the full length of the pitch. A great kick from the touchline by Paul Stead made it 12-6.

Whitehall consolidated their advantage as Dan Kelly and Nat Greenwood ground out the hard yards and Josh McLean and Mark Bolger kept a tight ship.

Casanove was proving a handful and he was held short of the line. Hooker Dom Guiry picked up at acting half and forced his way over, giving Whitehall a 16-6 lead.

Thornhill managed a try just before half time as winger Shane Johnson slid over on the left wing. A brilliant touchline conversion from Mark Horne brought the half to a close at 16-12.

The Trojans started with a second try to wingman Johnson as they once again used the full width of the large pitch. However, frustration set in and they had a man sin binned for foul play.

Paul Stead took the two points on offer and rubbed salt into the wound minutes later as he popped over a drop goal.

Ashley Caine and Jim Spivey put in telling runs and Casanove split the defence. Paul Stead spotted the Trojans at sixes and sevens and hit John Handscomb in space and he completed his hat trick of tries and, with Holroyd’s conversion, the match was sewn up at 31-16.

The Trojans managed a late consolation try but the day belonged to Whitehall.

Extra cream was added to the Whitehall cake as ex-captain and general, Barry Stead, re-signed for the Warriors.

On Saturday, Whitehall entertain local rivals Queensbury hoping to complete the double.

Thornhill Trojans 22

Whitehall Warriors 31

Pennine ARL Division Four