DONCASTER DONS: Promoted Dons pipped by impressive Cumbrians

On target: Paul Cooke
On target: Paul Cooke

Whitehaven 25 Doncaster 18

FOURTH-placed Whitehaven proved too strong on the day for already promoted Doncaster at the Recreation Ground.

‘Haven’s Carl Sice proved to be Donny’s tormentor-in-chief as he bagged a couple of excellent tries against the Co-Operative Championship One title-chasers.

Donny coach Tony Miller said: “This was our third trip to Cumbria this season and we knew it was going to be another tough, testing game for us at the Recreation Ground.

“It’s a great feeling to have been promoted with four games to go, but we still want to go as far as we can and we will continue to give it our all in our remaining games.

“Whitehaven are still looking for that fourth and final promotion spot so we knew they’d make life difficult for us.

“We were excellent against Workington the other week and we really needed to be just as good against Whitehaven on their patch.”

Donny actually went ahead in the ninth minute, with Stewart Sanderson gliding through to notch a smart try.

However, Sice then grabbed the game by the throat and bagged his brace of tries, either side of the half-time interval.

The second intervention put the hosts into the lead, and with 15 minutes to go Jessie Joe Parker stormed through to touch down and extend the advantage.

Miller’s men weren’t done yet though, and up stepped Carl Hughes who crashed over for a couple of scores to bring the visitors right back into contention going into the final 10 minutes.

However, with seven minutes left Richard Varkulis barged over the try-line to wrap up a Whitehaven victory that was probably just about deserved.

Carl Rudd slotted over a couple of conversions for the promotion-chasing hosts, while Jamie Rooney did likewise and also added a crucial drop goal.

Paul Cooke was in good form with the boot for Doncaster as he goaled all three of his sides’ tries.

Whitehaven head coach Don Gailer added: “Doncaster were a strong side and they were very well drilled. They’re the best team we’ve played against this year. ”