Thunder had a solid start to their season but haven’t kept up their form. Picture: Twitter @ThunderRugby.

Newcastle Thunder’s slide down the table continued at the weekend as they were beaten 34-20 by Whitehaven at the Recreation Ground.

Scott McAvoy scored twice for the hosts while Steve Roper kicked four goals from five attempts as the Cumbrian club secured revenge against Thunder, who beat Carl Forster’s side in pre-season.

Whitehaven full-back Elliot Miller broke the deadlock after 12 minutes before Ali Blair responded for Newcastle with a converted try of his own. Jordan Burns and McAvoy notched a try apiece in the space of 12 minutes with the hosts looking to go into the break with a comfortable advantage.

However, Thunder prop forward Rhys Clarke cut the deficit to two points with a try, converted by Benn Hardcastle. The half-time score read 14-12 to Whitehaven but it was certainly all to play for in the second period.

After the restart, McAvoy completed his brace on 49 minutes to regain Whitehaven’s two score advantage but the nerves returned before the final quarter as Newcastle replied once again.

Joe Brown made sure Mick Mantelli’s men were still in with a shout as he touched down on 58 minutes but there was still two points between the sides following Hardcastle’s conversion. The scrum-half levelled matters with just over ten minutes to go courtesy of a penalty and it was anyone’s game to win with the score locked at 20-20.

But two tries in quick succession gave Whitehaven the breathing space they desperately craved. Player-coach Forster came up with a match-winning play as he bust through a couple of tackles on his way to a long-range effort before Glenn Riley wrapped up the spoils with the final try of the contest.