WHITLEY Bay Rockcliff ended the year on a high with a 25-7 home win over Redcar.
Coach Tommy Rendles welcomed back former captain Drew Hayton into the squad and introduced Paul Hardcastle for his club debut at lock due to injuries to Alex Meadows and Stu Thompson.
Meanwhile Daniel Simpson returned to scrum-half, skipper Andrew Webster moved back to his favoured position at stand-off and the versatile Josh Donnelly moved back into centre, giving the team a balanced look.
Redcar came with a strong side and from the beginning gave Rockcliff a tough match, which was apparent for the first 15 minutes as both teams fought for possession and territory.
A period of Rock pressure saw the forwards slug it out on the Redcar five metre line and after a succession of misdemeanours by the visiting pack the referee awarded a penalty try which was duly converted by Webster
The decision was contested strongly by the Redcar team and resulted in one player being sent to the sin bin.
The game became a bit fractious after that, with Redcar feeling hard done by and Rockcliff trying to force home their advantage.
Following another heated moment, two more players, one from each side, were sent to the sin bin.
Webster stepped up into the scrum-half role with Donnelly moving to stand-off, and it was whilst both teams were reduced in numbers that Rock scored their second try with Steven Scott finishing a fine move to go over in the corner.
The conversion was missed but a Webster penalty soon after made it 15-0 to the Red and Golds at the interval.
The second half started with both teams back to full strength and Rockcliff began to take control.
Great work by Donnelly and sleight of hand from Ross Higginson sent Scott went over for his second try to make it 20-0.
Redcar fought back to score a converted try of their own, but the match was closed out by the flying Scotsman Ross Skene, who left everyone in his wake to go over for a final try to make the score 25-7. Man of the match was Dan Timney.
Rockcliff face Percy Park away on Boxing Day, kick-off 2pm.