Danny White came off the bench to score the decisive try, as Hawcoat Park ground out a 23-19 victory over Whitehaven in wet and windy conditions in Cumbria Division One last Saturday.

Despite the awful weather, the two teams were able to put on a gripping contest that could have gone either way right up to the final whistle.

The game could not have started any better for the Maroon and Whites, who were ahead just three minutes into the game.

The ball was moved out to fly-half Scott Kaighan, who slipped a neat short pass to put centre Chris Burns through a gap to touch down near the posts, with captain George Smith adding the conversion.

All the play was in the Whitehaven half, with the back row of the returning Matt Sayle, Ash Mowatt and Mike Lightfoot working as a unit to good effect and Whitehaven had their work cut out defensively.

The pressure led to a second Hawcoat try after 15 minutes when hooker Adam Grainger got his hands on the ball last to touch down, following a driving maul from an attacking line-out.

Whitehaven’s powerful pack then managed to fight back and with two tries levelled what was turning out to be a close affair at 12-12.

However, on the stroke of half time, Smith booted over a penalty from 35 metres to nose Park back in front.

White came on after the break following a return from a shoulder injury and whilst not at 100 per cent, he made an impact with his strong running and defence.

Five minutes into the second half he extended the hosts’ lead when centre Lewis Sayle made good ground down the left and when the ball was moved quickly in the other direction the Whitehaven defence was stretched.

When White got his hands on the ball, he forced his way through the would-be tacklers to score, Smith missing the difficult conversion.

Whitehaven still refused to go quietly and, with Kaighan in the sin bin, it came as no real surprise when the Whitehaven back row forced his way over near to the posts with five minutes to go, as the gap was reduced to one point.

In an exciting finale, Hawcoat just about managed to keep Whitehaven penned in their own half and right on full time Smith sealed a narrow victory by sending over a penalty from fully 40 metres.

Meanwhile, Hawcoat Park A picked up their fourth win in a row with a comfortable 33-7 triumph at home to Fylde Vandals.

Both first and second teams will be playing their final games before Christmas on Saturday.