Weakened Rockcliff XV knocked out of the plate

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FIELDING a much changed side due to injury and work commitments, Rockcliff slipped out of the Northumberland Senior Plate at the quarter-final stage when well beaten by a strong Blyth side.

Missing at least eight regular first team players, including captain Andrew Webster and the versatile Josh Donnelly, old stagers and youth players took to the field, giving their all.

Having never played together as a team they expectedly lost, but can be happy that they gave their all in this local derby.

Blyth ran in a number of tries, but the red and golds never gave in and responded with two tries of their own.

Andrew Telford finished a fine move, going over in the corner after the ball went across the backs, and flying winger Steven Scott then scored his trademark try blistering past the Blyth defence, side-stepping the full-back and scorching into the corner, for the try of the match.

Man of the match was rightly awarded to veteran Simon Tindall, who rolled back the years and gave a great performance in the centre, tackling, instigating moves, and communicating well to the other backs.

First team debuts were given to young Tom Crame, who looked very assured and can now be considered a first XV prospect, and Leon Smart, who gave an impressive performance.

On Saturday Rockclff’s league campaign starts with a tough match away against local rivals Wallsend, a re-run of last season’s opening fixture.

The Vikings face Wallsend second team at home.