Whitehaven claimed another crucial two points in the race for promotion with a 22-12 victory at play-off chasing Doncaster.

Two Carl Forster tries either side of half-time put Gary Charlton’s side ahead, before Andrew Bulman sealed the win with a try nine minutes from time.

Haven were up against a Dons side boosted by the return of former Man of Steel Rangi Chase, who made his debut for the club after two years out of the game.

It was Doncaster who started the brighter of the two sides and almost went in front when Matty Chrimes broke down the left, before supplying the pass for Matty Beharrell to go over. But play was brought back for a forward pass in the build-up.

They didn’t have to wait too long before the next opportunity presented itself, as Beharrell placed a kick into the air for Sam Doherty to rise above Andrew Bulman and open the scoring.

The home side continued to press and Chrimes came close to extending the lead, but the ball through from Beharrell just had too much on it and evaded the Doncaster winger.

Whitehaven’s first points of the afternoon came from the boot of Connor Holliday, who converted a penalty goal from 20 metres out to reduce the deficit to just four points with 12 minutes on the clock.

Chase was causing problems all afternoon and he had a debut try when his half-back partner Beharrell found him close to the line, and he had the presence of mind to spin away from the Haven defenders and score.

That seemed to spark Charlton’s side into life and they got themselves back in the game six minutes before half-time, as Carl Forster used his size to get the ball down under considerable pressure.

Whitehaven got on the front foot inside the opening minute of the second-half, after Doncaster’s Connor Wynne knocked on straight from kick-off. Starting their set 10 metres out, Forster was again the man to profit as his try followed by Holliday’s conversion put the visitors in front for the first time in the game.

The Dons twice came close to an immediate response, as Jason Tali was held-up by some strong Haven defence, before Matty Chrimes looked to be in at the corner but for another call of a forward pass going against the home side.

In a game that continued to swing one way and then the other, Andrew Bulman broke down the left after spotting a gap, only to be thwarted by the covering Wynne who forced an error in the process.

As Whitehaven continued to press forward in search of another try, they extended their lead via another converted penalty from Holliday with a quarter of the game remaining.

Bulman would get his name on the scoresheet soon enough and it came at a crucial time with less than 10 minutes left on the clock. The winger raced away from Doherty to go over in the corner and virtually seal the win in West Yorkshire.

The game ended with both teams down to 12 men, as Jordan Burns was sent-off for an off the ball incident which also saw Beharrell sin-binned for dissent.

Match Facts

Dons: Wynne, Doherty, Bower, Tali, Chrimes, Chase, Beharrell, Boyle, Kesik, Scott, Hodgson, Washbrook, Hedges. Subs: Owen, Brown, Bastas, Litten.

Tries: Doherty (7), Chase (27)

Goals: Beharrell (2/2)

Town: Burns, Holliday, Parker, Mossop, Bulman, Taylor, Phillips, Shackley, Dowsett, Coward, Gillam, Maudling, Wilkinson Subs: Bradley, Forster, Kelly, Newton

Tries: Forster (34, 41), Bulman (71)

Goals: Holliday (5/5)

Referee: B Pearson

Half-time: 12-8

Penalties: 4-3

Star-man: Carl Forster