Alnwick juniors get in the winning habit

ALNWICK U14 RUFC

Percy Park...5 Alnwick...10

ALNWICK faced the hosts in the first game of the day.

They looked to have Percy Park under control in the five minutes following the kick-off. But Park soon started pressing Alnwick into defence.

The visitors’ normal slow start was expected but this combined with a number of uncharacteristic handling errors meant that Alnwick had put themselves under pressure.

With Park’s excellent young hooker winning ball regardless of put-in, the visitors’ defensive resolve was being tested.

The Alnwick lads dug deep as Park’s forwards drove hard over the ball at every opportunity.

Alnwick’s Callum Milling, carrying an injury sustained in a midweek game, proved to be a thorn in Park’s plans to dominate the rucks, often single-handedly holding two Park players off the ball.

Close to half-time, the ball came out of a scrum and along the line to Park’s giant outside-centre, whose pace and scale brushed aside three attempts to tackle him before he went over the try-line. The try was not converted.

Receiving the ball from the kick-off, Alnwick’s resolve had clearly moved from offence into attack.

Ben Courty picking the ball up from a breakdown, drove towards the Park 22 and was held by two defensive players but not before he managed to smuggle the ball out to Joe Nicholson, who fired it to Tom Patterson.

Seeing a weakness in Park’s defence, Patterson accelerated with blisteringly fast place through the gap, leaving the three defensive players chasing and only the full-back rapidly on an intercept course.

Park’s full-back met Patterson head-on five metres from Park’s try-line. The Alnwick player drove for the line, but as they went over a second Park player joined the attempt to stop the try but to no avail as power and determination overcame resolve and Patterson equalised the scores.

Park continued to test Alnwick, frequently winning ball during the phases but Alnwick’s back-line held strong.

With Alnwick’s Tom Curry targeting the giant Blyth outside-centre on any offensive play, the main Blyth threat was neutralised.

As the ball came out of a maul just outside the Alnwick 22, Brad Samsom launched the ball with his boot into the Park 22, then chased it down much to the displeasure of Park’s full-back, who was unfortunate to have Samsom arrive shortly after he’d picked up the ball and summarily escort player and ball into touch.

The throw-in went to Alnwick, but Park managed to get a hand to the ball, palming it back toward their line but missing the scrum-half and bouncing off the ground. But the chasing Scott Harvey intercepted it and drove for the line for the winning try.

Scorers: Tom Patterson 1T, Scott Harvey 1T.

Alnwick...27 Beverley...5

ALNWICK were now firing on all cylinders and despite only 10 minutes’ rest were at Beverley from the kick-off.

With William Nelson and Alex Sweeney taking on any breakaway attack and Toby McWilliams combining with Matty Ginger and Danny Sinton in the maul, the ball was recycled easily for backs Joe Nicholson, Alex Sleet, Andrew Potts and Joe Cowan to take it down the park.

Twenty two metres out, the ball came to Alnwick’s giant powerhouse Brad Samson, who, with four Beverley players hanging off him, drove for the line, breaking one tackle and driving through the last remaining Beverley defensive player, to go over for the first of three tries. The second try went to captain Callum Burns, whose acceleration once again proved to be the undoing of the opposition’s defence.

Samson scored twice and as a response Beverley went over for a well-deserved try in the corner.

With minutes to go before the end of the game, the ball was driven to within 10 metres of the Beverley try-line. The ball was recycled and Callum Milling spun the ball wide to Will Nelson then onto Joe Nicholson on the loop. The Beverley defence was closing fast and the last man in attack, lion-hearted Callum Gray, took the ball on the charge, driving through two defensive players for a very well-deserved try .

Scorers: Callum Gray 1T, Brad Samson 3T, Callum Burn 1T, Joe Cowan 1C.