Rockcliff run up 92 points in big win

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Rockcliff maintained their position at the top of Durham and Northumberland Division 2 as coach Jack Lambert saw his Rockcliff team smash a Prudhoe and Stocksfield side in a ruthless display of running rugby.

Dan Atkinson, Kai Downey-Stevenson, Tomma Dawson, Stu Thomson, Neil Thornton, Chris Keen, Josh Donnelly, Liam Bowman started as the forward pack, Lewis Partis, Bryan Stewart, Steven Scott, Andrew Webster, Ricki Hasnip, Jonny Earnshaw, and veteran Simon Tindall, proud father after wife Rachael recently gave birth to their second child, comprised the rest of the team.

Charlie Murrey, against his old club, Jonathan Eames, and Tom Pike started from the bench.

The game kicked off with the large new year crowd expecting the weather to break at any moment, and the expected storm surge came right from the kick off when Steven Scott burst through the visitors defence to score the first of 14 tries in the first minute. Jonny Earnshaw showed good footballing skills, dribbling his way into the try area to drop on the ball for the second, both converted by skipper Andrew Webster.

Dan Atkinson then barrelled his way over showing a good turn of pace for a prop for try three, then Scott scored again. Bryan Stewart finished off a good flowing move to seal the game and the bonus point by the 24th minute. Kai Downey-Stevenson finished the first half scoring with his first to end the half 40-3 after Prudhoe and Stocksfield got on the scoresheet with a penalty late in the first period.

Lewis Partis, improving with every game, started the scoring in the second period of play, converted by Webster, then Neil Thornton joined the action with his second try of the season. Liam Bowman, Downey Stevenson with his second of the game, and then the fit again Stu Thomson who ran 50 metres to score further increased the scoreline. The versatile Josh Donnelly converted, giving the crowd a lesson in goal kicking.

The subs were all skilfully used by coach Lambert and everyone contributed to a fine flowing display.

Prudhoe and Stocksfield did not give up and to their credit kept bringing the game to Rockcliff when they had possession, but from a loose pass the ball went to Tom Pike who showed his pace to register his first try for the red and golds. Steven Scott completed his hat-trick, before the best try of the game was finally scored by Donnelly after great work from Tom Pike, Simon Tindall, and Ricki Hasnip.

Stu Thomson was voted Rockcliff’s man of the match.

Next week a very tough encounter is expected away to Redcar.