Dramatic late try saves Eagles blushes

Sheffield Eagles v Whitehaven at Don Valley Stadium....Pictured is Eagles Peter Green tackled by Whitehavens Tani Manihere
Sheffield Eagles v Whitehaven at Don Valley Stadium....Pictured is Eagles Peter Green tackled by Whitehavens Tani Manihere
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Sheffield Eagles 16

Whitehaven 16

A try in the final 30 seconds with the last play of the game gave Sheffield Eagles a dramatic draw with Whitehaven in the opening home game of the season.

The Eagles seemed to be heading for a shock defeat by the Second Division side when forward Mitch Stringer stormed in for a try. It was down to Tim Bergin to add the goal and he calmly put the ball over from the touchline at Don Valley Stadium.

The salvaged point keeps alive the Eagles hopes of making the knockout stages of the Northern Rail Cup but for much of the second half they were second best to the team from Cumbria.

Lewis Palfrey opened the scoring for Whitehaven with a penalty from 35 metres on four minutes breaking up a period of sustained Eagles pressure.

Dual registration signing Kyle Wood, on his return to the Eagles, set up the first try on 14 minutes with a kick to the corner for winger Bergin to jump high to collect and finish the job.

Bergin could not add the extras and minutes later Haven managed to scramble away another Wood kick but on 21 minutes the pressure told as prop Ryan Hepworth barged his way over from close in near the posts. Bergin added the goal.

Two penalties in succession, on Andrew Henderson in front of the posts, put Haven under pressure but the hooker was held up over the line.

Haven came back and after Spencer Miller was held up just inside a post, substitute Carl Sice went round to the right and squeezed in for the try with nine minutes of the first half left. Palfrey added the goal.

Haven were the more controlled team in the second half and Palfrey provided a flat outside pass for Dexter Miller to take on the burst and touchdown on 58 minutes to take the lead. Palfrey added the goal to put Haven ahead and added a penalty three minutes later.

Stringer was held on the line six minutes from time before the dramatic final play that saw him score the vital try and Bergin added the goal for a draw.

Eagles: Jamie Cottle; Danny Mills, Menzie Yere, James Cording, Tim Bergin; Dane McDonald, Kyle Wood; Jack Howieson, Andrew Henderson, Liam Higgins, Mitch Stringer, Peter Green, Joe Hirst. Subs: Ryan Hepworth, Scott Watson, Alex Rowe, Eddie Battye.

Tries: Bergin, 14, Hepworth, 21, Stringer 39. Goals: Bergin 2/3

Whitehaven: Craig Benson; Andreas Bauer, Derry Eilbeck, Scott McAvoy, Craig Calvery; Lewis Palfrey, Tani Manihera; Luke Issaka, Chris Smith, Paul Cullnean, Spencer Miller, Danny Barker, Andrew Beattie. Subs: Carl Sice, Howard Hill, David Ford, Dexter Miller.

Tries: Sice 31, Miller, 58. Goals: Palfrey 4/4.

Half-time: Eagles 10 Whitehaven 8.

Attendance: 727.