Injuries fail to hold Rockcliff back in win over Barnard Castle

On a cold and grey December day, injury ravaged Barnard Castle travelled north to Hillheads to play an equally injury hit Rockcliff.

The game only went ahead after a pitch inspection at 10.30am deemed the surface was playable.

The first half was a keenly contested affair, played mainly in the midfield of the park, with both sides manning up in what was a tetchy, niggly encounter.

The whitewash was crossed late in the first half when young Ryan Mcleod finished off a flowing move, converted by the versatile Josh Donnelly, for 7-0 at half-time.

Early in the second half Donnelly released the mercurial prop Dan Atkinson who smashed over with a try for 12-0.

With the Barnard Castle No. 8 sin binned for an indiscretion the Red and Golds ran in another try from prop forward Thomas Dawson, converted by Donnelly for 19-0.

Barnard Castle then notched an unconverted try for 19-5, but shortly after this Drew Hayton, voted man of the match by the visiting team, bulldozed his way over under the posts, converted by Donnelly for 26-5.

The game played out with Simon Ayre returning from injury and new signing Leroy Wilson on the pitch.

Andrew Moore was outstanding for Rockcliff, and the bonus point win keeps them in touch with the promotion places.

The next game at Hillheads will be the Boxing Day fixture against Percy Park, kick-off 2pm.