Rockcliff U14s secure Harrogate Festival win

The Whitley Bay Rockcliff Under-14s after winning the Harrogate Festival.
The Whitley Bay Rockcliff Under-14s after winning the Harrogate Festival.

A North Tyneside rugby team were celebrating after gaining revenge over their arch-rivals to win a Yorkshire rugby festival for the second year running.

Whitley Bay Rockcliff Under-14s avenged their heavy Northumberland County Cup final defeat by Gosforth-based Northern on their way to glory in the Harrogate Festival.

They emerged victorious despite being up against some of the strongest rugby clubs and schools in the country, including Northern.

Both clubs were drawn in a strong pool including Lutterworth (Leicestershire), Bolton Private School and hosts Harrogate. The other pool included Middlesbrough, Ormskirk (Lancashire), Heaton Moor (Cheshire) and Waterloo (Liverpool).

Northern ran out 41-10 in their County Cup final showpiece at Druid Park but this time Rockcliff were celebrating after registering a 19-0 victory in Yorkshire as Simon Forster’s team won the tournament for the second year running.

Rockcliff surprisingly dominated Northern and wing Roger Hood got his team off to the perfect start with a fine try with just 34 seconds on the clock before Jackson McIntosh doubled the lead, bursting over from a ruck with a fine bit of forward play.

Then following a smart kick by skipper Will Forster, full-back Tony Saywell popped up to catch the ball and immediately dive over to finish the game off before half-time and Rockcliff were effectively home and dry.

Rockcliff never looked back and beat Lutterworth 41-5, Bolton Private School 31-0 and hosts Harrogate 19-5.

They faced Middlesbrough in the final and in a tight game, the breakthrough came half way through the first half with Adam Hay bursting down the blindside from 35 metres out to score.

Hay converted his try to make it 7-0 and then Zac Bailey came the closest to bursting through but was stopped just short of the line as Rockcliff went for the killer blow while Middlesbrough never gave up but the Tynesiders’ defence stood firm.

Rockcliff are always on the look-out for new players and anyone wanting to join the team ahead of next season’s under-15 campaign should contact Simon Forster on 07908 662392.