Rockcliff win league points and the Malcolm Flockton Cup

Rockcliff secured a valuable five-point league win and held on to the Malcolm Flockton Cup at Hillheads on Saturday.

It was the home side that took the initiative in the early stages when a clever grubber kick from Andrew Webster saw Simon Ayre chase the ball down but he was held up on the line.

Rockcliff kept the pressure up and from a five-metre scrum the pack shunted their way forward and scrum-half Dan Leach touched down for 5-0 with ten minutes gone.

Seven minutes later Sam Stirling looked to be in to score but again the North Shields defence held out and he was held up on the line.

But from the following play there was no stopping Liam Bowman as he bulldozed over to score, which was converted by Webster for 12-0.

Scott Rendles got Shields on the scoreboard when he slotted home a penalty on 22 minutes, and the game then settled down until Rockcliff got a late unconverted try through Dale Harrison for 17-3 at the break.

Almost straight from the re-start, Rockcliff moved further ahead when the ball was fly hacked almost the length of the pitch and Josh Donnelly got their first to score and secure a four-try bonus point for the Red and Golds.

Shields were still in the game and when Ben Butler left the pitch the Rockcliff pack took time to settle and the visiting pack had the edge in the set-piece.

The game was played in Rockcliff’s half for a good ten minutes before Dan O’Sullivan broke away to ease the pressure.

In the next phase Tom Reid daintily fly hacked through into the visitors’ 22, and as Stu Thomson followed up he tripped over and fell gracefully to the ground with the line at his mercy.

Shields cleared their lines but from the resultant lineout a catch and drive move ended with Bowman scoring his second try of the match, converted by Webster for 29-3, with four minutes left to play.

North Shields’ re-start did not go ten metres but Rockcliff elected to play on and Sam Stirling burst down field from half way with three defenders in hot pursuit, only to trip just short of the line and knock-on.

Two late scores for Rockcliff came through Webster, for 34-3, and O’Sullivan, who capped an ebullient performance with the last score of the game for 39-3.

Next week Rockcliff are away to Bishop Auckland

Meanwhile Rockcliff Vikings notched a good win at Medicals, 33-29, with tries from Alex Meadows, Donald Gilchrist, Angus Gilchrist, Gary Lewis and Kieran Lydall, and four conversions from Chris Forster.