Rookie rugby player Cameron Ilderton was the star of the show as Rockcliff RFC Under-13s secured a memorable victory over County Durham champions Billingham on Teesside.
The George Stephenson High School pupil only started playing for the Whitley Bay club last summer but showed he is a quick learner with both Rockcliff tries in an impressive 14-5 win over the best side in Durham.
Ilderton, playing at outside centre, twice stormed over from distance following surging runs from deep that paved the way for one of the best wins that Rockcliff have recorded under coach Simon Forster.
Rockcliff skipper Will Forster converted both tries to put clear water between the Tyneside team and Billingham who rallied well late on and cut the deficit with a fine individual try but their opponents stood firm for victory.
“I’ve got to say a big ‘well-done’ to the lads who went down to Teesside,” said coach Forster.
“There were some really great gutsy displays across the whole team.
“I told the lads they needed to be at their best because Billingham are a strong side and they responded in fine style.”
Rockcliff, who finished runners-up to Northern in last year’s Under-12 County Cup, also beat hosts Middlesbrough 28-14 at their Acklam Park ground and will now turn their attention to a trip to Morpeth this Sunday.