ROCKCLIFF continued their unbeaten run in 2012 by overcoming a stubborn young Whitby side who went down fighting on a blustery cold day in North Yorkshire.
The match had been rearranged due to the snow and poor conditions two weeks previous, so work and other commitments resulted in Rockcliff making changes to the team.
But such is the confidence and commitment of the squad recently that those players who stepped up and performed has left coach Tommy Rendles with selection problems – but good problems they are.
As a result of good displays in the previous week, young Lewis Partis started at scrum-half behind veteran Karl Briggs, Josh Donnelly, and Paul Ellwood, while Alex Meadows returned to partner sprightly Neil Thornton in the engine room.
They packed down behind a forward line of Drew Hayton, Neil Mather, and young Dan Atkinson, replacing the injured Daniel Timney.
Chris Keen came onto the wing to replace Ross Skene, with speedster Steven Scott on the other wing and Richie Berne returning at full back behind ever present centres Rikki Hasnip and Bryan Stewart.
Jack Lambert, Dale Harrison, and Dan Simpson were the three substitutes.
Rockcliff got the game under way by kicking down the hill and with the wind.
After eight minutes they had a try on the board when prop Drew Hayton crashed over in the corner.
Many in the crowd thought this may be the beginning of a rout, but Whitby had other ideas, and even though 90 per cent of the game was played in their half they defended feverishly, minimising Rock to only one further score in the opening half, a penalty by the versatile Josh Donnelly, to make the interval score 8-0 to the red and golds.
With the elements in their favour, Whitby came back hard.
But this is a resilient Rockcliff side, and having listened to coach Rendle and captain Webster’s half-time talk for ‘up yer jumper rugby’, they moved the ball up field, resulting in a Steven Scott try in the corner.
Only minutes later skipper Webster was able to see a gap in the Whitby blitz defence to skip through for a great try, Josh Donnelly adding further points with the conversion.
The red and gold’s were now dominating possession, but credit to Whitby who carried the fight to Rockcliff scoring a try of their own.
But it was only a matter of time before the bonus point was added, with Webster again eluding the blitz defence in the 57th minute to skip through under the posts to score another try for Donnelly to convert.
Scott added a final Rockcliff try before Whitby concluded the scoring with a try of their own for a final score of 12-32.
A fine performance by Andrew Webster resulted in him being awarded the man of the match, but again everyone performed well and it has become a hard job picking the man of the match after such displays.
Another good result for Rockcliff who remain unbeaten for seven games now.
On Saturday they face a tough encounter at Winlaton.
WB ROCKCLIFF RFC 2nds 25 SKEGNESS RFC 30
THE Vikings entertained tourists Skegness who fielded a strong side, and proved just too powerful for the home team.
Rockcliff scored through Billy Elwood, Jamie Shardlow and Matt Dunbar and John Dixon who combined to score the Vikings third.
Andy Partis added a brace to complete the home side scoring.