West Hartlepool 39 Alnwick 20
North One East
On a soft pitch, where footing was at a premium, Alnwick stepped up to the plate and had equanimity in the early stages, before James Bird put them in front with a penalty from 40 metres.
He missed another opportunity from a full 50 metres before Alnwick spurned a wonderful chance to increase their lead, when a poor pass in the centre prevented an easy score with an overlap.
West then began to get their act together and powerful forward play and inventive running particularly by the full-back and outside-half found Alnwick wanting defensively and tries ensued.
Such was the dominance that half-time was reached with the score 34-6, Alnwick’s other three points being a drop goal from James Warcup.
The half-time team talk was reminiscent of Ferguson’s hair dryer as both James Hamilton and Ben Boothman laid the deficiencies on the line.
Would Alnwick learn the lesson?
The answer was a definitive yes.
As Alnwick came out with renewed energy and both backs and forwards combined to make huge inroads into the heart of West’s defence.
James Hamilton and Ben Boothman were always in the van as a resurgent Alnwick proved that Churchillian speeches can inspire.
Ben Boothman and Rory Mallaburn crossed for tries which emanated from their own 22, James Bird adding the extras to give Alnwick a 14-5 second half.
Alnwick have found the going tough in the North One East League, particularly away from home but they have shown they can put pressure on most sides they play. They need to do it for the full 80 minutes.
Alnwick take on Huddersfield YMCA at home on Saturday, kick-off 2.15pm.