Rockliff finally settle to see off Winlaton

Rockcliff maintained their top four position in Durham and Northumberland Division 2 when Winlaton visited Hillheads and despite a spirited performance returned to Gateshead empty handed.

Although the injury list is reducing, coach Jack Lambert again had a limited squad to pick from.

He started with Dan Atkinson, Andrew Moore, Dan Timney, Liam Bowman, Stu Thomson, Sean Wood,Chris Keen, and Niall Stokes in the forwards, and a back line of Dan Simpson, Josh Donnelly, Jordan Anderson, Ricki Hasnip, Sam Stirling, Charlie Muzzlewhite, and Simon Tindall. George Reid, Thomas Dawson, and Steven Scott made up the bench.

Winlaton, back in this division after a year in Division 3 and looking to consolidate their position in the league, started well, pressurising the Rock backs, using the setting sun advantage well and playing the game in the Rock half.

It was no surprise then when Adam Houston slotted over a penalty for Winlaton to take the lead.

The Black and Whites were looking the better team at this stage as Rockcliff struggled for cohesion, but at last the Red and Golds got into the Winlaton half and a good break saw the ball come out to Jordan Anderson, who looked certain to score but unfortunately he knocked on as he went over the whitewash.

Hasnip eventually went over, scoring in the corner to take the half-time score 5-3.

The second half saw a more committed Rockcliff with Lambert’s words in his half-time talk obviously taking affect.

With the game being played in the Winlaton half it was only a matter of time before Rockcliff increased their lead, and the time came when the ball went down the line for Reid to scamper over and run to the posts unopposed, with Donnelly adding the extras for 12-3.

With Donnelly now getting ball on the front foot the ball sped across to Hasnip and he made a great dummy break to set up Anderson who this time made no mistake.

The final try was a typical Rockcliff move; good ball to Donnelly, quick hands through the backs to Scott, who turned on the afterburners to scorch over for his trademark try and a bonus point win.

Next week Rockcliff face a tough away game at third placed Redcar.

Saturday, November 29, sees Rockcliff hold ‘We will Rockcliff You’, a Queen tribute night raising funds for Movember.

The fun starts a t 7.30pm and tickets are £10.