Rockcliff’s bonus from leaders

THE red and golds of Whitley Bay Rockcliff came away from league leaders Consett with a bonus point, and a sense that they could have got more from this game.

Steven Scott and man of the match Ross Skeen kept Rockcliff in touch with a try apiece, and club captain Andrew Webster notched two penalties and a conversion to keep the visitors within four points of the home side.

But a late penalty for Consett saw them edge away to win 25-18.

On Saturday, Rockcliff hope to build on this performance at home to Whitby.

DESPITE playing most of the game with 14 players, the Vikings earned a draw at Gosforth.

Starting with only 15 players after the first team took Adrian McKeowen, Simon Tindall and Lewis Partis and injuries claimed Dan Atkinson and Daniel Johnstone, the Vikings were reduced to 14 men after the first tackle of the game, when Tony Birkett twisted his knee in a ruck, resulting in him coming off with no replacement.

The young Gosforth team capitalised, and went into half time 14-0 up, although it was all against play.

The Rockcliff pack dominated the Gosforth forwards, with man of the match Michael Donaldson wheeling nearly every Gosforth scrum. The second half saw much of the same, the 14-man Rockcliff side outplaying the Gosforth team.

Rockcliff’s first points of the match came just ten minutes into the half when Gosforth conceded a penalty and chose to argue with the ref instead of retreating, so captain and scrum-half Sam Heppell took a quick penalty with pretty much all the opposition offside and dived over the line to score, Rhys Johnstone hitting a tricky conversion for 14-7.

Rockcliff continued their superiority and, in the final minutes, Sam Heppell popped the ball to Rhys Johnstone who crashed over from five metres out, nailing a difficult wide conversion to secure the draw.

Man of the match was Michael Donaldson, who wheeled a good seven or eight scrums and had a solid defensive performance, gathering several loose balls to retain possession on a number of occasions.

MORE than 30 girls from the region attended a training session hosted by Rockcliff Girls Rugby section, and it was a great success as they ran through a number of fitness and skills drills.

Anyone interested in joining the Rockcliff Girls section should contact the club on (0191) 251 3704.

Meanwhile the club’s annual dinner dance will be held on Saturday, October 29, from 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

There will be a five course meal, live band and disco.

Tickets are £20 per head, available from Ian Firth and Noel Mather.