Alnwick travelled to Beverley for the first time in several years hoping to improve on their promising start to their league campaign and take advantage of the host’s current difficulties which see them without a win so far this season.
If Beverley’s lowly league position and Alnwick’s margin of victory suggests that the visitors had an easy ride, then this would be well wide of the mark.
In conditions ideal for running rugby, and with both packs fairly evenly matched, there was plenty of ambition displayed all round, but sadly not matched in the execution by either side.
The net result was that all the first half was an untidy and scrappy affair littered with errors by both sides as tackles were missed and passes went adrift or knocked on.
However, there was plenty of excitement to keep spectators interested as several try-scoring opportunities for both visitors and homesters went begging.
Alnwick really had their hands full at times and only some last-ditch tackling and gritty trench warfare kept the line intact.
Alnwick too had their moments, enjoying plenty of possession to build periods of pressure on Beverley’s line where a try might have resulted but for a hint of white-line fever.
Just when it looked as if the half would end scoreless, Beverley conceded two penalties in quick succession, the second of which was tidily put over by Burn for a 0 – 3 lead on the half-time whistle.
Beverley began the second half strongly, although Alnwick benefitted from a poor Beverley kick ahead and launched a counter-attack from their own 22 which swept play upfield where Ellis was on hand to score, with Burn adding the conversion for 0 – 10.
The next score was not long in coming. Alnwick began to exert a measure of control and a Beverley clearance only found Cuthbert on half-way, who was away up the left touchline like a train to score by the posts untouched by Beverley hands. Burn added the conversion for 0 – 17.
Despite Beverley’s best efforts, things began to unravel as a neat grubber kick from Burn produced a scrum some 10 metres from Beverley’s line. A break to the left found Todd who nipped smartly through for a try giving Burn another simple conversion for 0 – 24.
Although doing well from the re-start, a Beverley attack broke down in mid-field and on suddenly finding himself in possession, replacement Ollie Hamilton stormed away from his pursuers to touch down, Burn tucking away the conversion for 0 – 31.
Benefitting from some shoddy Alnwick tackling and a couple of the few penalties which were seen in this cleanly fought contest, Beverley finally got reward for their endeavours after several drives near the Alnwick line put flanker Worrall through. DuBoulay’s excellent kick from wide out made it 7 - 31.
In the final ten minutes despite the hosts’ best efforts, Alnwick’s fitness began to tell and a tiring Beverley could only watch as centre Mallaburn intercepted a careless pass near half-way and raced away to score with Burn again adding the extras for 7 – 38.
The final agony came as Todd, ever alert, spotted a gap on Beverley’s 10 metre line and sped through to score his second try. Burn rounded off a good day’s work with the conversion for 7 – 45.