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Bishop Auckland club round up
Sat 17 Nov Whitley Bay Rockcliff 10-24 Bishop 1st (W)

It has been some considerable time since Bishop Auckland won away at Rockcliffe and facing a team that are back in form and strong at home is never an easy task. Forced into a number of changes Bishops handed a 1st Xv debut to U17's star Josh Pagan and saw the return of Laurence Oliver at centre.
From the off Bishop looked powerful and effective in attack, mounting a series of breaks through EVANS and BEACH. They were regularly inside the Rockcliffe 22 in the opening exchanges and quickly registered a try from Kieran Canovan. Andrew Brabban broke from the base of a ruck before offloading for the winger to cross the line.

Defensively Bishops showed why they have the stingiest defence in the league with OLIVER and EVANS shutting down the Rockcliffe backs and keeping the ball away from their lightening paced winger. Rockcliffe took the gamble of kicking ahead to newcomer PAGAN - who with his first attack of the game, tore apart the Rockcliffe backs line for a 40 metre gain. This was just the start for PAGAN who was in outstanding form - his performance growing as the game developed. Rockliffe were industrious - and caused problems at the breakdown with some excellent counter-rucking, but did not really trouble the defence too much and could only muster a first half penalty.

Before the half, Nareki crashed over the line for his 8th try of the season and Mike Ross also added a try to leave the Bishops well in control at the half.

The second half saw Rockcliffe tighten up in defence and concentrate far more on stopping the Bishop's offloading game - their back row doing an impressive job, but not quite matching the power of the visiting pack. Nareki was in superb form this week and worked so well with BEACH, BRYAN VICTORY and ROSS that Rockcliffe eventually allowed a break. PAGAN featured twice in what was certainly the try of the season so far for Bishops.

Bullocking runs from the back row, PAGAN and lock forward Paul Fletcher got Bishop into the opponents half before a clever offload allowed Brabban to move the ball quickly to the line. Pagan emerged again outside OLIVER at centre and glided through the line - converting the overlap to release CANOVAN for his 19th try of the season.
In the closing stages, Rockcliffe showed they had an offloading game of their own and registered a somewhat conciliatory try to leave the final score 24-10.

SUMMARY: Rockcliffe are a very good side - this was simply an outstanding performance from Bishop Auckland. Josh Pagan showed the strength of our junior Rugby setup and was outstanding in the backs, creating chances, scores and defending with intelligence and heart. In the forwards Ratu Nareki was sheer class, aggressive, explosive and a real team player. This side has the potential to really go places if they can continue their recent form. The leadership of DANNY ROSS
and Paul Fletcher is invaluable in such a young side but this is a wonderful mix from an outstanding bunch of players...a true TEAM.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Ratu Nareki - pipped PAGAN at the post with a powerhouse display and try. The heart and soul of the BA team.


Bishop U16s Hit Top Form

Bishop Auckland U16s 60 Gateshead 14

Bishop Auckland U16s hit top form as they won easily against Gateshead in a lunchtime home game. With a full side for the first time this season, Bishop were quick to take the lead when good forward play saw ground gained before the ball went to Matty Mitchell who scored the try. Bishop carried on with the attacks, but it was Gateshead who scored next with fine break down the length of the pitch. At a scrum 30 metres out, Rob Hill picked up the ball at the back before popping the ball to Sam McIvor who released Anth Young who scored in the corner. McIvor then gave Young the chance to add a second score. The score continued to mount as Hill broke a number of tackles and McIvor picked up the ball at the back of a ruck to touch down between the posts. Young added his hat-trick before, after a fine turnover from Liam Higgins, Adam Brunskill scored in the corner. With Tyler Claydon adding three conversions, the half-time score was 36-7 to Bishop.

Michael Dunn scored the first try of the second period before adding another after Sonny Maan made a break from a lineout. Jordan Day and Karl Teasdale were both outstanding in the loose play. Higgins scored the next try and another soon followed after good support from Aidan Mounsey saw him receive a scoring pass from Macaulay Barker. Gateshead were not downhearted and showed plenty of spirit, adding a converted try to complete the scoring. Young added two conversions in the second half and Bishop ran out 60-14 winners.

Team: Michael Dunn, Sonny Maan, Tom Clarke, Jordan Day, Karl Teasdale, Tyler Claydon, Liam Higgins, Rob Hill, Sam McIvor, Macaulay Barker, Anth Young, Matty Borrowdale, Matty Mitchell, Jacob Tetlow, Aidan Mounsey, Adam Brunskill, Connor Witton, Jack Hamilton

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