It was that kind of derby game that will be spoken about for years and years as a Jarrod Sammut touchline conversion won them the game for the second week running after Jason Mossop crossed for Town with two seconds left on the clock to level the game in the best West Cumbrian derby played in a generation. This was after Town had played with twelve men for more than seventy minutes as Karl Olstrom was sent off in the seventh minute for punching Haven second rower Dave Allen.
Despite being down to 12 men it was Town who took an 12-0 half time lead with a try from winger John Patrick and three penalty goals from Sammut who making sure every kickable penalty was going over for the two points.
The second half started great for Haven as the leveled the scores within seven minutes of the half with James Newton and Andy Yates crossing for the visitors, full back Jordan Burns converting the two tries.
Town led again in the 57th minute as Sammut crossed as he shaped to pass and the Haven defence were too busy watching the ball and not what the man was doing as he straightened up and crossed between a number of defenders. Sammut once again converted.
It was a derby game that was living up to its reputation and Haven hit back on the 66th minute through winger Craig Calvert but John Paul Brocklebank couldn’t convert from the touchline.
Patrick crossed again for Town just four minutes later and once again Sammut converted to leave the gap eight points for Haven to try and chase down. They did.
Tries in the 75th minute for Brocklebank and then 78th minute for Grant Gore looked to have secured victory for the visitors as they led by four thanks to Brocklebank converting both tries. Town players were down on their knees as Grant Gore crossed seemed they believed it was all over too.
But receiving the ball with less than one minute left on the clock after Haven had knocked on in the set after kick off allowed Town to have one more shot at victory and a last minute try for successive weeks. Jason Mossop crossed in the left hand corner to draw the scores level much to delight of the majority of Town fans and the heartbreak of Haven fans and players many who dropped to their knees as the hooter sounded just as the try was awarded.
Sammut stepped up and took his time and lined up the conversion right in front of the Whitehaven fans. A last minute touchline conversion to win a derby fixture may have been too much for some. But Sammut kept calm and he swung his right boot and the cry from the Town fans even before the ball had gone over showed they knew what was about to happen. Sammut had won the game as he has done on so many occassions since signing for the West Cumbrian side.
Patrick 2 (15,70), Sammutt (57), Mossop (80)
Newton (44), Yates (47), Calvert (66), Brocklebank (75), Gore (78)
Burns 2/2, Brocklebank 2/3
Prediction – Haven by 2
Result – Town by 2
Picture Credit: 40/20pix (Gary Mckeating)