THE mighty Alnwick Barbarian All Stars travelled south to the great city to take on the cream of the Newcastle Novocastrians in a contest more to do with recreation, enjoyment and the Corinthian spirit than the ultimate result.
Travelling a couple of players short of a full squad, the hosts very kindly transferred a couple of combatants to the Barbarian ranks so they would ensure a close contest.
However, they did not calculate that the mighty front-row, consisting John Scottish, Andrew McKenna and Chris ‘The Novo’, supported by a youthful second row of Norm Keen and Fred Scott would allow the back-row Kev Aitman, Dave Smith and Ben ‘The Novo’ plenty of time and space to win a good supply of ball for the backs to utilise.
With Tich Ord in inspiring form, allowing the mercurial Rory Mallaburn to show his talent and put Ethan McDougal in for four first-half tries, a rare feast that John Dixon could only watch with wonderment and awe!
Smith and Aitman also crossed the chalk to give The All Stars a commanding lead at half-time. Rory converted a few of them.
Reorganisation in the second half brought debutant Aaron Scott into the outside-centre berth for the Ba Baas and, with his first real chance, he cut the Novos’ defence to shreds before putting Mallers in for the first of his brace.
Lance Green, who had enjoyed space and territory at full-back in the first half, found himself thrust into the heart of the battle, winning many a skirmish to set up good possession for the team. Tich Ord got a couple of touchdowns to reward his endeavour and Mallaburn very sportingly passed to Ben ‘The Novo’ for a late try and denied himself a hat-trick try. Well done Rory.
Novos’ endeavour was rewarded late on when they scored a converted try.
A good all-round performance that both sides enjoyed and shows that taking part is better than watching.