Rockcliff retain top spot in table
Whitley Bay Rockcliff 44-14 Hartlepool
Rockcliff maintained top spot in Durham and Northumberland Division 2 with a hard fought win against third placed Hartlepool.
The Red and Golds got off to a flying start, with two tries in the first ten minutes. The first came from Liam Bowman touching down for his first try of the match. Rhys Johnstone added the conversion for 7-0.
The second try came from another 5m line out, on the opposite side of the pitch when Charlie Muzzlewhite scored in the left corner. Johnstone’s conversion attempt bounced back off the cross bar.
Hartlepool rallied, and managed to get more possession of the ball, testing Rockliff’s defence with some probing attacks into Rockcliff’s half. Regaining the momentum, Rockcliff forced a line out and from the resulting catch and drive, Bowman was on hand to score his second try of the game, Again Johnstone was unlucky with the conversion, this time hitting the post, making it 17-0 at half-time.
Any home nerves were settled when from the restart Henry Cotton stormed through the Hartlepool defence to score the bonus point try, converted by Johnstone for 24-0.
Again the visitors rallied, but Rockcliff saw the ball shipped out to winger Ryan Rapallo who raced in from 50mout to score. Johnstone found the target this time, and Rockcliff were 31-0 up with 15 minutes left.
Hartlepool’s efforts were rewarded when they scored and converted two tries in the space of five minutes, but Rockcliff took the initiative back, and forced two penalties - Johnstone converted both to up the score to 37-14.
Rapallo had the final say, finishing off another flowing move to race through and score under the posts, converted by Johnstone.