Great away day for nine-try Alnwick

Acklam 19 Alnwick 58

In this entertaining match with much to applaud, Acklam simply had no answer to Alnwick’s pace in a field day for the backs who thrived on the pack’s hard work upfront.

Alnwick were quickly to put points on the scoreboard, a poorly-directed kick through was returned at pace and Andy Shell shot up the touchline to score under the posts, leaving an easy conversion for Nathan O’Grady (0-7).

Alnwick won line-out ball and from the following scrum, Ian Gray raced away to link up with Andy Shell, who touched down following a kick ahead, but the conversion attempt hit the posts (0-12).

A penalty attempt was pushed wide, but the away side won the restart drop out and produced a lovely vignette of play with Ed Shell scoring (0-17).

An Angus Todd run was halted when he came up from full-back and Acklam scrambled the ball away to the Alnwick 22, this was returned into the home half of the pitch where a knock-on saw a scrum, from which Gray broke through to touch down (0-22).

Acklam pounded their way forward and an Alnwick mistake saw Thwaithes scurry through from the scrum for a converted try (7-22), leaving Alnwick very comfortably in the driving seat at the interval.

Acklam made a mess of the restart, and a series of errors led to an Alnwick penalty for offside (7-25).

Following a lengthy period of staleness, Alnwick conceded a penalty and a quickly-taken tap penalty resulted in Moffatt coming through at pace to go over for a well-worked try with goal points added by Ashton (14-25).

Alnwick came straight back and took advantage on the restart when a dreadful pass by Acklam’s Walker was picked off by Ed Shell who ran round and through defenders (14-32).

Acklam were penalised for offside. Alnwick took the penalty line-out on the home 22, Josh Burgess took the ball and whipped it out to Graeme Potts who knocked over a number of defenders before touching down (14-37).

Alnwick went further ahead from the restart, Andy Shell took the ball in Alnwick’s 22-area and linked with Ed who raced away from the defence on a mazy 80-metre run, O’Grady again converting (14-44).

Further open play saw Alnwick extend their lead, Gordon Smith swung out wide from a line-out on the Alnwick 10-metre line, crisp handling saw the ball travel out to Potts who finished off a splendid move with a converted try (14-51).

Two minutes later and another try from the restart, a clearance by Moffatt was taken at pace by Andy Shell who went over for a mind-boggling try, again the O’Grady boot was on target (14-58).

In the final play of the match Acklam were awarded a series of line-outs near the Alnwick try-line, finally driving Bates over for a consolation try (19-58).

Alnwick: A Todd, G Potts, Ed Shell, A Gray, A Shell, N O’Grady, I Gray, P Brown, S Allen, B Bootman, R Ellis, J Burgess, G Smith, J Kelly, M Gray, Stu Bremner, F Hutchinson.