Whitehaven Match Report
Bears provide setting for Whitehaven’s party!
Coventry Bears 0 Oldham RLFC 72
Sunday, Webb Ellis Rd., Rugby
By Mike Hyde
Photos Dave Jessop
Whitehaven secured promotion to the Championship with a powerful all-round performance whichoverwhelmed the Bears at their temporary home.
And it wasn’t just on the pitch that Whitehaven were powerful, as an estimated 350 fans travelled down to be rewarded by the sight of thirteen unanswered tries and of RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer presenting the trophy at the end of the match.
The day very much belonged to the visitors, but the Bears and their fans did have something to celebrate at the end of a long and difficult season.
The match started tentatively on a cool day in Rugby, but powerful drives by both ‘Haven props gave a taste of what was to follow.
After five minutes, the visitors were in the lead as Jordan Burns crossed over on the left. Jacob Moore couldn’t convert on this occasion, but did convert ten during the match.
Indeed, he also scored ‘Haven’s second try as he took the ball at high speed and crossed over to give and he ended the afternoon with an impressive 24 point haul.
It wasn’t all going the way of the visitors, as the Bears exerted themselves on Whitehaven’s line. Nathan Conroy, Reece Rance and Jacob Jones each tried to penetrate in a sustained spell but to no avail.
Burns scored again midway through the half as he followed and pounced on the ball then just two minutes later, Sam Forrester put in a good run setting Marc Shackley up on the right wing.
There was now no stopping the visitors as Chris Taylor sliced through the Bears running in from the half way line.
The Bears again tried to get into the game, but Carl Foster was having none of it as he burst through for the visitors’ sixth try.
The final score of the half came as Dave Thompson stormed over to set the seal on a powerful first half performance.
The Bears came out stronger in the second half, camping deep in Whitehaven’s half for five minutes, with Nathan Conroy again coming close to scoring.
Then Brett Phillips sliced through the Coventry defence and next over was his brother Callum, with three Bears clinging onto him but unable to stop him from powering his way to a try.
Coventry’s left flank was clearly vulnerable as Burns and then Thompson added to the afternoon’s scoresheet.
A beguiling dummy accompanied Burns’ and the away side’s final try of the afternoon as they romped to a clinical yet ultimately comfortable victory.
The hooter sounded and this was the cue for the travelling fans to start their celebrations, as life n the Championship beckons next season.
For the Bears it was a wretched end to a season which had showed such promise, only to be blighted by injuries and an enforced nomadic existence, which meant that seven of their ‘home games’ were spent in unfamiliar locations.
However, then came the eagerly awaited announcement that the Bears will be returning home to the Butts Park Arena.
Roll on next season!
1 Elliott Hall
2 Hayden Freeman
3 Kadeem Willams
4 Kam Pearce-Paul
5 Erroll Carter
6 Bradley Sheridan
7 Nathan Conroy
8 Chris Barratt
9 Sam Davis
10 Reece Williams
11 Jacob Jones
12 James Mason
13 Kieran Sherratt
Subs (all used)
14 Harvey Whiteley
15 Jack Ray
16 Cameron Stewart
17 Reece Rance
2 Jordan Burns
5 Dave Thompson
3 Chris Taylor
23 Jason Massop
19 Andrew Bullman
1 Sam Forrester
7 Callum Phillips
8 Marc Shackley
14 Samuel Dowsett
10 Kris Coward
11 Brett Phillips
12 Jacob Moore
13 Tom Wilkinson
Subs (all used)
6 Dion Aiye
15 Conor Holliday
24 Ethan Kelly
26 Carl Forster
Tries: Burns [5,20,61,73], Moore , Shackley, Taylor , Foster , Thompson [38,69], B Phillips , CPhillips , Bulman 
Goals: Moore 10/13
Penalty count: 3-10
Referee: Andrew Sweet
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-10, 0-16, 0-20, 0-26, 0-32, 0-36; 0-42, 0-48, 0-54, 0-60, 0-66, 0-7