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Rockcliff get it Ryt in the second half; RUGBY UNION.

ROCKCLIFF held on to pole position in Durham and Northumberland Division Two with a second-half performance which ultimately subdued a competitive Ryton side 60-10.

With the strong wind in their favour, Ryton's strong pack - inspired by the impressive Matty Oxley and fast backs - took the initiative against an out-of-sorts Rockcliff in the first half, opening the scoring when Robbie Forbes touched down, his try converted by Alex Colbeck.

Michael Hansen reduced the deficit with a well-struck penalty but Colbeck responded to restore Ryton's advantage.

On the stroke of half-time Jamie Fenwick crossed the whitewash to narrow the gap to 10-8 at the break.

It was a different Rockcliff in the second period as they came out all guns blazing to score 52 unanswered points - despite the best efforts of Ryton, who remained competitive until the final whistle.

Andrew Webster scored first, dotting down to finish off good pressure by Rockcliff, converted by Rhys Johnstone for 15-10.

Fenwick then notched his second try of the match, also converted by Johnstone, to open up a 12-point lead.

Rockcliff's fourth and bonus point-recording try came on 55 minutes when Rob Hamilton stormed through the Ryton defence to score.

Johnstone added the extras and five minutes later slotted home a penalty from in front of the posts as Rockcliff's relentless pressure forced an infringement in the Ryton defence.

Harry Ramage then took route one through the visitors' defence, finishing off a 20-metre charge to score under the posts. Again Johnstone converted.

Rob Hamilton burst through a gap in the visitors' defence, drawing two defenders in before setting up Alex Hayton to score under the posts and, with Johnstone converting, Rockcliff looked home and hosed at 46-10.

Good hands by Craig Hamilton started a move involving backs and forwards which Dan Rule finished off in the left-hand corner, scoring Rockcliff's 100th try of the season in the process - Johnstone converting.

The final score of the game came from Dan O'Sullivan, Johnstone again converting.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2019
Words:328
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