AFFORDED the luxury of choosing from a full squad of players, Whitehall’s coach, Richard Casanove continued with his strict “no-train, no-play” policy which possibly cost his team victory in last week’s close encounter at Siddal, writes David Beaumont.
Brighouse, on the back of a heavy defeat, strengthened their team and came with a side eager to win this local Derby match.
From the kick off, both teams tried to dominate and a tussle of the forwards ensued.
Nicky Barraclough and Lee Robson were prominent for Brighouse and Pete Williams and Stuart Syme for Whitehall.
The non-stop whistling of referee Nigel Wray stopped the flowing rugby which both teams were trying to play and he controversially ruled out a try to Barraclough saying he grounded the ball short of the line.
Brighouse eventually got the breakthrough when Mark Barton powered his way over. Joe Taphouse converted for a 6-0 lead.
Whitehall’s huge prop forward, Nat Greenwood, sucked in Brighouse defenders and Lee Nellist capitalised with a kick which caught Rangers napping as Andrew Johnson pounced on the ball for a try. Jamie Holroyd levelled the scores with the goal kick.
A crossfield move by Paul Stead and James Spivey sent Rhys Brown on a long run and his quick play the ball to John Handscomb caught out Brighouse as he dived over the line.
Holroyd was on target with the kick to give Warriors a 12-6 half-time lead.
On the restart, Brighouse came out with all guns blazing and veteran Andy Ambler worked overtime to get some movement into his back line.
However, it was a close range try that got Brighouse back into the game thanks to hooker Lee Robson’s solo effort. Taphouse’s goal kick levelled the scores.
With 10 minutes left a silly indiscretion from Mark Barton saw him sin-binned.
With Holroyd off injured it was left to Steve Helliwell to carry the responsibility of the penalty kick. He gave Whitehall a 14-12 lead.
With the full time looming, the referee adjudged Andrew Johnson had moved off the mark when playing the ball.
But Taphouse’s kick sailed wide of the sticks.