Alnwick U14...76 Sunderland...10
ALNWICK travelled down to play Sunderland on the wind-swept second team pitch.
The teams were evenly-sized but right from the kick-off the Alnwick lads dominated game play.
The Sunderland squad never gave any quarter, showing great spirit and superb sportsmanship throughout the one-sided game.
There were some superb Alnwick individual plays. Full-back Callum Burn once again put in a solid captain’s performance, leading his team to victory by example.
In the second half, the ball came along the backs and Burn, with his blistering pace, linked with Joe Nicholson at inside-centre, who spotted a gap and drove through the Sunderland back-line. But he was not clear of one of Sunderland’s speed merchants, who very closely matched him for pace.
Burn had a trick up his sleeve – running the angle to the far corner and 10m from the opposition try-line with the Sunderland player close in pursuit, he side-stepped, slammed on the anchors to then watch the Sunderland player hurtle by. He then drove back infield and over the line for the try.
Setting the standard for courage was Callum Gray. Faced with a player nearly twice his size bearing down on him at maximum pace, the lion-hearted Gray stood his ground and rapped the Sunderland player’s legs up in a Herculean head-on tackle, downing the player to stop what was going to be a definite breakaway try.
Bruno Smith proved once again why he is considered one of the best scrum-halves in the county by taking the ball 10m from the Sunderland line and weaving his way past three Sunderland defensive players to go over the try-line.
Graham Atkinson provided an amazing demonstration of side stepping trickery. Taking the ball on the wing at pace, Atkinson side-stepped his opposite number so convincingly that the Sunderland player fell backwards. He then side-stepped back outside the next incoming player who ran through. Finally, with only one defensive player between him and the line, he delivered a side-step that left the Sunderland lad standing looking into thin air.
Supporters from both teams applauded what was a masterful demonstration of side-stepping trickery.
Joe Cowan gave a masterclass of goal-kicking, converting many of the tries from distances and angles professional players would struggle with.
Scores: Ben Courtney 3T, Brad Samson 3T, Graham Atkinson 1T, Callum Burn 1T, Scott Harvey 1T, Alex Sweeney 1T, Bruno Smith 1T plus 1C, Joe Cowan 1T plus 7 C.