It was second versus third in the league in this clash at Preston Playing Fields between North Shields and Rockcliff, with the game also contesting the Malcolm Flockton Trophy a former player for both sides.
North Shields were without regular fly-half Gavin Duffy, who was injured, so Jack Rendles covered at ten with Dominic Foster coming in at scrum-half. Dale Jones moved to full-back with Matty Dockey returning on the wing. In the pack Ben Smallwood returned at hooker.
Rockcliff scored the first points with a Josh Donnelly penalty kick before North Shields took the lead with a try from prop Tony Jordan, which was converted by Rendles.
Rendles added a penalty to extend the hosts’ lead before Rockcliff’s Ryan Yellop scored an unconverted try in the corner.
Before the break Rockcliff almost scored again but a foot in touch saw the try ruled out.
At the other end, a penalty from Rendles gave a half-time score of 13-8 to the hosts.
The match continued to be a tight affair in the second half and two Shields players being sin binned proved the difference as Rockcliff capitalised scoring a Donnelly penalty and a Chris McCabe try, converted by Donnelly, to win the game 18-13.
On Saturday North Shields are in RFU Senior Vase action when they travel to Winlaton Vulcans in the first pool match, kick-off 3pm.