Three wins from three completes Rockcliff’s pre-season

Scrum-half Bryan Stewart who opened the scoring for Rockcliff. Picture by Simon Tindall

Scrum-half Bryan Stewart who opened the scoring for Rockcliff. Picture by Simon Tindall

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A hastily arranged friendly against league 1 Gosforth saw Rockcliff RFC run out 12-7 winners in a keenly contested match.

Thanks went to Gosforth for the fixture, which was arranged as Prudhoe and Stocksfield withdrew from a scheduled cup match

Coach Jack Lambert mixed and matched for the fixture, fielding youngsters, new signings, and some familiar old faces against a team with a proud and rich history.

A front row of Matthew Brady, Neil Mather and Tomma Dawson was supported in the powerhouse by Alex Meadows and Leon Smart with Karl Briggs, Karl Scott and Neil Thornton, completing the forwards.

Bryan Stewart started at nine for the first time in his Rockcliff career, Andrew Webster at ten, while Steven Scott, Ricki Hasnip, Jonny Earnshaw, Jordan Anderson, and Andrew Telford completed a speedy and youthful back line.

As this was a friendly, both teams used rolling subs and Andrew Moore, Gary Lewis, Chris Waddell, Rhys Wiley, and Lewis Partis all got some needed match time at regular intervals.

The Rock forwards were dominant throughout the match,and after a strong scrum Stewart picked from the base was able to twist, turn and body swerve his way to score a fine try.

Gosforth responded with pressure to score a converted try before forward pressure from the Rockcliff pack forced a penalty try for continuous infringement by the Gosforth forwards, converted by skipper Webster.

The second half remained scoreless but a good game of rugby was played nonetheless, keeping the capacity crowd in the newly erected Swinburn Stand thoroughly entertained.

Next week Rock are away to local friends and rivals North Shields for an eagerly anticipated cup match.