Ike Southward Memorial Trophy - Workington Town 32-16 Whitehaven

Dave Clark opened his west Cumbrian derby account with a bang as his new-look Workington Town side brought the Ike Southward Memorial Trophy back to Derwent Park.

Town fought back from 10-0 down in the opening exchanges to defeat long-time neighbours and rivals Whitehaven 32-16 at the final whistle.

Both sides had their ups and downs but it came down to sheer tenacity and the Town side had it in bucket loads.

Carl Forber put in a superb stint at stand-off but there were stand-out performances across the park, including the two young newcomers on loan from Wigan.

Joe Hambley showed a good turn of pace, Stevie Scholey was a rock in the Town pack and Conor Fitzsimmons marked his debut with a try.

Whitehaven welcomed back skipper Scott McAvoy after a long lay-off and the centre worried the Town defence on a few occasions going close.

Jessie Joe Parker showed glimpses of his form, as did Glenn Riley but Whitehaven could not pin Town back.

Town went close in the opening exchanges as they pinned Haven back on their line.

A final kick through from Forber was chased down by Seaton amateur Kieran Mewse and Craig Calvert but it was palmed over the dead ball line.

But then the visitors got into their stride and, for a few minutes, it looked as though they were going to run away with it.

Whitehaven got onto the scoresheet in the sixth minute. The returning McAvoy burst through the Town line but was halted.

However quick thinking saw Jordan Burns scoot over from dummy-half but Paul Crook could not convert.

Town were penalised for offside at the restart and Haven were back on the attack.

And Workington were made to pay as James Newton put in a kick for the chasing Crook and he beat the home defence to touch down under the posts and converted for a 10-0 lead.

This seemed to wake Town up and they won a scrum near the Whitehaven posts but, despite pressing the line, the final ball came loose and Haven won a reprieve.

But back came Town and a high ball from Forber was caught well by Joe Hambley, who looked to fight his way over the line but he was well wrapped up by Chris Taylor.

The men in blue and white were back in the game when Sam Dowsett crashed over from short range, with Forber converting after a quarter of the time had passed.

And, just two minutes later, Kris Coward set Callum Phillips loose and he raced 60 metres and beat the full back to touch down.

Forber's conversion put Town into the lead for the first time at 12-10 and they did not look back.

There were missed chances for both sides as half time loomed.

Whitehaven had the opportunity to strike back as they neared the Town line but they looked to force the pass and James Tilley knocked on.

Then, at the opposite end of the field, Stuart Howarth put Brett Phillips over the line but the linesman disallowed the score for a forward pass.

And Haven looked lively just before the stroke of half time as Steve Roper put Tyrone Dalton into a gap. Dalton opened up but he was pulled down by some staunch Town defence before he reached the posts.

Into the second half and Haven came out looking to right the wrongs of the previous period.

And it was a tense opener for the home side as they had to bundle the charging Conor Holliday into touch with some desperate defence to keep the score in their favour.

Town's tackling proved ferocious as Macauley Davies and Howarth got Jake Moore into touch to swing the advantage their way and they moved into the Whitehaven half of the field.

A penalty near the posts gave Town another set of six and they chose to run it, which proved a wise decision as Doran fed the charging Tee Ritson and he raced over the try line.

Forber lined up the conversion just inside the touchline but it bounced off the posts with Town 16-10 ahead.

Whitehaven then fell for a lovely dummy from Forber as he raced through the gap on a lovely angled run to touch down in the corner.

He then lined up the resulting kick on the touchline and watched it sail between the uprights to make it 22-10.

And they were unlucky not to follow it up with a try for the strong-running Hambley who was hauled down inches short of his destination.

Whitehaven began to come back to life in the final quarter and a burrowing James Newton got in under a pile of Town bodies to give his side a lifeline.

Crook added the extras and Haven were back to within six points of their rivals.

Marc Shackley nearly marked his return to Derwent Park with a try as he charged over the line but knocked on as he crossed with 10 minutes left on the clock.

As Whitehaven looked to be on the verge of levelling matters Town broke away up the left hand flank.

It was passed through several pairs of hands before Forber dived over in the corner much to the delight of the home crowd.

He lined up another touchline attempt but, this time, it went narrowly wide but Town held the advantage.

This seemed to deflate the Haven attack and the final word went to the Workington side with just seconds remaining.

Dowsett provided the ball for a charging Fitzsimmons who marked his debut with a try behind the sticks.

The unlikely figure of Scholey stepped up to take a quick conversion and Town confirmed the win at 32-16.

This was a real boost for the young Workington side and Whitehaven now have two weeks to get back on track before they meet again in the League Cup at the Recreation Ground.

Town: Ritson, Mewse, Davies, Hambley, Rooke, Forber, C Phillips, Curwen, Dowsett, Scholey, B Phillips, Shelford, Singleton. Subs: Howarth, Fitzsimmons, Coward, Doran.

Tries: Dowsett 20, C Phillips 22, Ritson 45, Forber 51, 72, Fitzsimmons 79.

Goals: Forber 3/5, Scholey 1/1.

Haven: Burns, Holliday, Taylor, Parker, Calvert, Roper, Crook, Shackley, Newton, Forster, Moore, McAvoy, Tilley. Subs: Riley, Dalton, Brown, Worthington.

Tries: Burns 6, Crook 9, Newton 65

Goals: Crook 2/3

Half-time: 12-10

Penalties: 11-8

Referee: Robert Hicks.

Crowd: 934

Star Man: Carl Forber.