Vikings and Rangers win but firsts are beaten

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ROCKCLIFF went down to a 14-point defeat at Hartlepool on Saturday.

Despite fighting back to 24-24 at half-time, poor defending let Rockcliff down as they lost this away game to the league leaders.

This weekend Rockcliff are at home to Novocastrians.

WB ROCKCLIFF 2nds 37
SUNDERLAND 2nds 17

THE Vikings eventually ran out comfortable winners in this Northumberland County River Blyth League match, but only after a second half rally by Sunderland had them rattled.

Chris Foster opened the scoring with a penalty after eight minutes, and two minutes later Jonny Earnshaw ran in the first of his four tries.

Sunderland pulled back the score to 8-3 when John Grainger slotted home a penalty, but Rockcliff kept the pressure up and Simon Tindall cut a great line to finish off a move that combined backs and forwards, touching down left of the posts. Foster converted for 15-3.

Five minutes later Earnshaw touched down for this second try cutting in from the left wing to score under the posts.

In the second half, Sunderland upped their game and after a spell of forward pressure eventually crossed when Colin Wallace scored.

Sunderland kept the squeeze on and Dean Marshall finished off a good move, again with Grainger converting for 20-17.

Rockcliff responded when Earnshaw scored two tries in as many minutes to take the score to 30-17, and as the clock ran down Tindall scored his second of the game, with a Foster conversion, for 37-17 at the close.

WB ROCKCLIFF 3rds 26
JARROVIANS 2nds 22

THE Rangers clinched this match at the death, after a closely fought game which saw the lead change several times.

Rob Burns opened the scoring for Rockcliff with a penalty after two minutes, and Rangers kept the pressure up only for Jarrovians to score against the run of play when scrum-half Chris Page jinked through from 20 yards out to score.

Burns edged Rockcliff back in front with his second penalty of the match for 6-5.

But a few minutes later Scott Catlin touched down for Jarrovians to go back in front at 10-6.

Just before half-time Andy Moore was on hand to score for Rockcliff and the sides changed ends with Rockcliff leading 11-10.

Steve Liddle then extended the home side’s lead early in the second half, only for Martin Flett to redress the difference, and when Page converted Jarrovians were back in front at 17-16.

Page then scored his second try of the game to take Jarrovians’ advantage to 22-16.

Rockcliff responded within four minutes when Lawrence Fletcher trundled over from close range to bring the difference back to one point.

As the game came to a close, Rockcliff had a penalty opportunity which struck the bar, and as Jarrovians attempted to retrieve the ball there was a knock on and from the resultant scrum Rockcliff span the ball wide for Simon Gould to scamper through to score the final points of the game, at 26-22.

As part of the 125th season celebrations, there will be a Rockcliff former players lunch on Saturday, with lunch scheduled for 12.30pm, followed by the first team home fixture against Novocastrians.

Tickets are £10, contact the club for further details (0191) 251 3704.