Rockcliff have edge in derby win over Shields

North Shields v Whitley Bay Rockcliff, Durham/Northumberland Division 2, North Shields, 11 November 2017
North Shields v Whitley Bay Rockcliff, Durham/Northumberland Division 2, North Shields, 11 November 2017

North Shields 14-21 Whitley Bay Rockcliff

North Shields and Rockcliff began the day with a minute’s silence for Remembrance Day but as soon as the game kicked off, and in true local derby fashion, the hits were big as both sides tried to establish themselves in the game.

Shields were having the upper hand in the scrums while Rockcliff were dominating in the line outs.

Rockcliff enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half with some brave defending by Shields to stop points being scored. However from a series of forward pick and goes down in the right corner of the pitch Rockcliff span the ball at pace to their winger to touch down uncontested, 0-5 at half-time.

The second half saw the same intensity of rugby with Shields looking good in the loose and around the breakdown area and Rockcliff’s backs looking dangerous. Rockcliff turned pressure into points early on by taking advantage of a penalty and an unconverted try to take the score to 0-13. As the visitors seemed to be running away with the game, Shields didn’t let their heads drop and continued to fight. From a quickly taken penalty Shields were stopped just short of the line, however this time after quick hands Gavin Duffy ran under the posts unopposed and Jack Rendles converted, 7-13.

Shortly after this, Shields attacked again and Harry Watson broke the line through two defenders and ran a distance to barge his way over the white-wash, Rendles converted again, 14-13.

Shields had turned the game on it’s head. Unfortunately for the hosts Rockcliff battled back and their prop scored a try to the right of the posts after exploiting an overlap, followed by a drop goal.