A SECOND half fightback was not enough for Whitley Bay Rockcliff as they came away from Seaham with on a losing bonus point after a 26-19 defeat.
Seaham dominated the early possession and were rewarded with an unconverted try after ten minutes. Rockcliff responded quickly when the ever alert Andrew Webster took a quick tap penalty to scamper through to score and then convert for 7-5.
The hosts resumed control with their big pack dominating, and the sides changed ends with the home side leading 19-7 after they had scored two converted tries.
Rockcliff beefed up their pack in the second half, bringing on Drew Hayton and Paul Ellwood, and the Red and Golds gradually got back into the game, and winger Steven Scott raced through to score an unconverted try for 19-12.
With their tails up Rockcliff began to control possession, and after a spell of good pressure in the Seaham 22 , Dan Simpson picked up and drove through to touch down under the posts. Webster added the conversion to equalise at 19-19.
From the kick off Rockcliff resumed the pressure but they were caught out at the death when Seaham broke away from their 22 to score and convert for 26-19.
Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC 2nd XV ... 24
Blaydon RFC 4th XV .... 24
THE Vikings and the Bricks served up an excellent game of rugby to warm up the crowd on a cold grey November day. Rockcliff dominated the early exchanges, and Craig Tomlinson opened the scoring with an unconverted try for 5-0.
Blaydon edged in front ten minutes later with a converted effort, but Johnny Earnshaw had the Vikings back in front from the kick off when he touched down for 10-7, only for Blaydon to cross the whitewash for 10-12 on the stroke of half time.
Nick Dalton got the Vikings off to a good start as the game resumed when he scored, converted by Rhys Johnstone for 17-12. The Bricks responded quickly with two tries, one converted to go 24-17 up.
With time running out it looked like the game was slipping away from Rockcliff but with three minutes to go veteran winger Simon Tindall broke from his own half to score, and Johnstone coolly converted under pressure to equalise.
Houghton le Spring RFC 2nd XV ... 7
Whitley Bay Rockcliff RFC 3rd XV ... 12
THIS was an excellent away win for the Rangers and it keeps them well placed in the league table. Rockcliff dominated the first half, and opened the scoring when Rob Burns chased through to score for 5-0.
John Dixon then barrelled through, converted by Chris Forster, for 12-0 at half time. Houghton battled back well in the second half, scoring a converted try, but it was not enough to deny the Rangers a win.