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 [12], Shackley[22], Taylor [24], Foster [35], Thompson [38,69], B Phillips [48], CPhillips [52],  Bulman [58]

Goals: Moore  10/13

Penalty count: 3-10

Half-time: 0-36

Referee:  Andrew Sweet

Attendance: 652

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

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