Rockcliff edge Ponteland in flowing game of rugby

Rockcliff's Ryan Yellop makes a break to score against Ponteland. Picture by Simon Tindal
Rockcliff's Ryan Yellop makes a break to score against Ponteland. Picture by Simon Tindal

Rockcliff and Ponteland produced an excellent advert for local rugby with both sides serving up some exciting running rugby in perfect conditions in front of the biggest crowd os the season at Hillheads.

The home side just edged the game with some excellent defensive work when under pressure, and quick transition into attack when they had the ball in hand.

Skipper Liam Bowman got Rockcliff on the scoreboard first, but Ponteland equalised shortly after wards through Johnny Love.

Ponteland began to press Rockcliff back, and but for some excellent defence and the occasional handling lapse, they would have reduced the deficit.

However, after absorbing the pressure, Rockcliff winger Ryan Yellop broke away to score, converted by Dan O’Sulilivan, for 12-5 at the break.

O’Sullivan extended Rockcliff’s lead early in the second half when he scored and converted for 19-5, but again Ponteland came back, this time through Ian Lindon who touched down for the visitors, converted by full-back Luke Chick, for 19-12.

Ponteland kept up the pressure and once again tested the Red and Gold rearguard.

Twice scrum-half Dan Simpson put his body on the line to prevent Ponteland touching down, and once again Yellop broke free, this time setting up O’Sullivan for his second and Rockcliff’s fourth try of the game. This secured a bonus point, and O’Sullivan again converted for 26-12.

Ponteland continued to press from the re-restart, and eventually they were rewarded when Luke Chick crossed to score the final points of the game.

This was a great all round effort by Rockcliff, with Sam Stirling being named as man of the match.

The result moves Rockcliff into second place in Durham and Northumberland Division 2, and next week they make the short trip to third placed North Shields in a league and Malcolm Flockton Cup double header.

Rockcliff’s two other senior sides were also in action at the weekend.

The Vikings suffered a 39-7 reverse in a Northumberland RU River Aln league match at Ponteland.

Man of the match Kieran Lydall scored the Vkings only try, converted by Chris Forster.

Meanwhile the Rangers entertained Newcastle Ravens in Northumberland RU River Coquet League.

They ran out winners at 60-17, with tries from Russell Hill (4), Nick Hill (2), Craig Tomlinson, Ross Bailey, Drew Shardlow and Angus Gilchrist. Tomlinson added five conversions.

The Ravens, now in their tenth season, scored three tries through Sean Coates, Dan West and John Dixon with one conversion from Watson.

Next week the Rangers play North Shields Crusaders at home.