In a tight encounter there was nothing to choose between Whitehaven and Newcastle Thunder at the final whistle.

As the hooter sounded the two sides had to share the spoils in a 12-12 scoreline as Newcastle came back in the dying minutes to earn a point.

Haven had a narrow 4-2 lead at the break in what has been a tense game throughout with no quarter given by either side.

It was Thunder who took the lead with a Jy-Mel Coleman penalty kick given for an obstruction but Haven soon struck back.

And it was Dave Thompson, on his return to the side, that lifted the home team with a try in the corner.

Unfortunately the extras could not be added this time by the boot of Jake Moore but it was enough to give Haven a narrow advantage and set the game up for an exciting second half.

As that kicked off it was again defences on top for both sides and it was the boot of Coleman that eventually saw Thunder draw level after Haven were penalised for offside.

And Coleman put Thunder two points ahead when he added his third penalty of the afternoon, again for offside.

But the home side were not going to be put down and Jordan Burns was the man to put them back in front when he touched down, with Conor Holliday putting over the extras for a 10-6 lead.

Whitehaven were almost in again when Jason Mossop just couldn't get on the end of a Sam Forrester kick to score.

A Holliday penalty gave Whitehaven the six point advantage they needed after he was hit with a high shot.

But that was not the end of the drama at the Recreation Ground as Thunder came back right at the death to earn a draw when Conor Fitzsimmons touched down and Coleman added the extras to make it 12-12.