Seconds shake off the cobwebs to notch derby win

Alnwick II...19 Morpeth Edwardians...7

IN a typical local derby, the seconds shook off their rustiness and won the local jousting match against Morpeth, writes Andrew Hodgson.

It was a double celebration for birthday boy Grahamslaw, who got cramp on the half time whistle. Alnwick started well with their pack picking up the tempo from the previous week’s game against a side who only wanted to scrummage.

They created quick ball that the backs used to great advantage.

Some great forward play saw the ball shifted out to the backs. Centres-elect Neil and Mould, with their lurchers tethered on the side-lines waiting for the evening’s excursion into the parks, pounced for the first score.

In a second spell, the mercurial Jon Snaith, always a threat, cut through the Morpeth backs, swatting off a hapless tackle to score. Toby Davidson made no mistake with the conversion. This took the home side in at half-time at 10-0.

Coach Johnson was full of praise for the pack, although heavy lungs and the steam of a herd of cattle after a rodeo, showed the Wily Johnson, that there were one or two that could be fatter (sorry, typo lads – ‘fitter’).

Charlie Davies was again proving that he has what it takes to make the grade in the back row, although a natural increase in weight will help him greatly. With cousin Andy Ord also flying around like a hungry mosquito, the back row duo (minus Christy Mould who classes as a centre), they were a thorn in the Morpeth side.

Morpeth toiled hard and eventually started to dominate the set piece when the coaches rang the changes in the pack. Alnwick backs, given the chance, were a threat, with the centres Gaines and Snaith solid in defence and keen to attack, wingers Davidson and Annett looking dangerous on the wing. Annett spurned a great chance when he took a high ball from the opposition’s hands, took off down the wing, then by misfortune made a pass to a young lady watching in the crowd.

It was not long before Snaith set off with three men outside him. He showed the ball to them, dummied and scored his second try, Davidson again getting the extra points.

Morpeth scored a consolation try, when a loose pass was intercepted and the veteran Morpeth number eight raced half the length of the pitch to score.

A good afternoon, but with bits to work on, it is a positive start to the second half of the season.