1 week ago
By Paul I'Anson
An important win puts Acklam 19 points clear at the top
Acklam had an important 32 - 12 win against second placed Whitley Bay Rockcliff to go 19 points clear at the top of Durham and Northumberland 2.
Despite playing against the wind Acklam had the better of the early exchanges and took the lead after 13 minutes when Rockcliff were penalised at the breakdown in front of their posts and stand off Danny Ashton kicked the goal.
A couple of minutes later as a result of another infringement by the visitors one of their players was shown a yellow card. Acklam took advantage when they moved the ball out wide to winger Josh Abraham who, although stopped by the last defender, gave a good offload to full back Andy Dunn up in support to go round under the posts to score. The try was converted by Ashton to give Acklam a 10 nil lead midway through the half.
Acklam continued to dominate and before half time they won the ball and put Abraham away again - he made a good run but was caught by the cover defence. However, Acklam recycled the ball for centre Paul Roberts to score, again converted by Ashton to give the home team a 17 nil lead at the break.
Two more tries by Acklam early in the second half earned them a bonus point and effectively won the game. First good defence by the home team enabled them to steal the ball, with good support play and another Abraham pass giving Dunn his second try. Then from a lineout number 8 Paddy O'Brien made a great break through the middle and found Ashton in support to score Acklam's fourth try, with his conversion increasing the lead to 29 nil.
Rockcliff were able to rally towards the end of the game and eventually broke the strong home defence to score. Acklam were soon back on the offensive and although they missed a couple of try scoring opportunities Rockcliff were caught offside in front of their posts and Acklam settled for three points from Ashton's second penalty goal. Rockcliff continued to fight to the end and were rewarded with a second try, but the game ended in a convincing 32 - 12 win for Acklam which puts them pretty much out of sight at the top of the table.
Updated 10:16 - 19 Feb 2018 by Mark Collins