Whitehaven 84 West Wales Raiders 6

Whitehaven duly swept aside the League One whipping boys to give their points differential column a healthier look.

Carl Forster’s men scored 17 tries and, if derby match-winner Dan Abram had brought his kicking boots, Whitehaven would have established a new club record.

Their previous highest win had been in 1995 with an 86-6 win against Highfield, and Abram only managed to convert seven touchdowns. The last one of the game was converted by Jessie Joe Parker to round off his big day.

The popular Papua New Guinea centre, in his 150th appearance for the club, had crossed for the 100th try of his career early in the second half as Whitehaven pushed on over the half-century mark.

West Wales had conceded 72 points on their last visit to west Cumbria, beaten by Workington Town, when their cause hadn’t been helped by only arriving with one substitute.

They had a full complement this time but were handicapped when one of the substitutes, Dalton Desmond-Walker, was shown a red card on 26 minutes after a high-tackle on Callum Phillips.

Referee Steve Race appeared to be giving just a penalty when the touch judge intervened and a red card was produced. At the time, West Wales were trailing 18-6, and that was simply the end of any meaningful resistance.

Haven had taken the lead on only two minutes when Dion Aiye ploughed through the middle and managed to throw the ball back for Josh Eaves to spin the ball right where Dave Thompson shot through to score.

The lead was doubled on six minutes when Haven simply moved the ball quickly to the right and Danny Green dived over in the corner.

More good handling, this time from within their own half, saw Haven score again on nine minutes with the admirable Chris Taylor putting Green in for his second.

But just as they had done at Derwent Park, the Welsh side rallied and in their first serious attack, got over the line through their best forward Morgan Evans. Fraser Stroud converted and, at 14-6, there was just a glimmer of promise.

It didn’t last long, however, when Taylor strode through a minute later for the fourth Haven try, the third of which Abram was unable to improve.

Then, when Desmond-Walker saw red, all hope disappeared and in the final 14 minutes of the half Haven carved out five more tries to take complete control.

Liam Cooper, Lewis Reece, Abram, Conor Holliday and Aiye all scored to leave Haven only four points shy of a half-century.

The pick was Aiye’s effort just before the hooter when he set-off 40 yards out and just kept going, swatting aside the challenge and would-be tackles to eventually make the line.

Whitehaven’s half-century was reached seven minutes into the second half when Abram darted over, taking advantage of the extra man out wide.

Then came the big moment for Parker when he strode over for his 100th career try and probably one of the easiest in that impressive list.

Taylor capped another outstanding performance for his side with a fine individual try on 56 minutes. He burst through from 40 metres and had the full-back going one way and then the other as he cleverly wrong-footed him two or three times before sauntering over.

Young Eaves capped his home debut with a nicely-taken try on 65 minutes before Phillips scored a beauty. He made the break just over halfway and then outpaced the cover on a diagonal run to the line.

Reece ploughed over from close-range and Conor Holliday found space in the centre to go in before skipper Marc Shackley rounded-off a powerful performance by taking several tacklers over the line with him for the last try on the hooter – converted by Parker off the touchline.

Match Facts

Whitehaven: Abram, Green, Taylor, Parker, Lister, Aiye, Phillips, Brown, Eaves, Forster, Holliday, Thompson, Cooper.

Subs (all used): Bradley, Reece, Shackley, Tilley.

Tries: Green (2), Taylor (2), Reece (2), Abram (2), Holliday (2), Thompson, Cooper, Aiye, Parker, Eaves, Phillips, Shackley. Goals: Abram (7/15), Parker (1/2).

West Wales: Davies, Silver, Haile, Walker, Ford, Stroud, Claridge, Boots, Harris, Evans, Elliot, Simon, Snook.

Subs: Kaye, Desmond-Walker, Higgs, Fraser.

Try: Evans.

Goal: Stroud (1/1).

Penalties: 8-5

Half-time: 46-6

Referee: Steve Race.

Crowd: 401

Star Man: Chris Taylor