Acklam played their normal expansive game although the ground conditions were not really suitable for this kind of rugby. This did mean they made some crucial errors at vital times in the game. The opening phases of the game were very frantic as both teams tried to achieve their aims, Rockcliffe for second place and promotion and Acklam maintaining their 100% league record.
Acklam had most of the territory and possession throughout the game but it was Rockcliffe who took the early lead in the 15th minute. The opening try came from an over throw at the line out on the Acklam 22 meters and Rockcliffe gigantic prop barged himself over the try line, 7-0. In the 28th minute Andy Dunn made another of his decisive breaks down the left side of the field. the ball was recycled across to the right side for Josh Abraham to open Acklam's score sheet, 7-7. With Acklam continuously probing at the hosts defence, another score for Acklam seemed just a matter of time but the Rockcliffe centre intercepted a pass in the 38th minute to run in a 50 meter try under the posts, H.T. 14-7.
Acklam appeared to get the ideal start for the second half when Andy Dunn was put through for a try but the referee deemed the pass was forward. Then on the 45th minute Rockcliffe showed real pace in the backs which allowed their winger to score in the left corner, 19-7. Acklam pressured the Rockcliffe defence and were rewarded with two 5 meter line outs, but on both occasions lost the ball. Eventually in the 68th minute, Acklam's pressure was rewarded when Andy Dunn scored under the posts, 19-14. Rockcliffe were now feeling the pace and in the 71st minute, Danny Ashton made the vital line break to allow Andy Dunn to score his second try, 19-19. Acklam were throwing everything at the hosts and in the 80th minute Chris Mallam was put through for the winning try but once again the referee deemed the pass was forward.
Well done to both teams who showed tremendous endeavour!
Updated 09:50 - 21 Apr 2018 by Mark Collins