Alnwick U15...50 Berwick U15...14
THE teams continued their run for the County Plate.
Soon after the start, a kick from Alnwick’s Joe Nicholson put Berwick five metres from their try-line with a throw in.
Berwick won the ball but the feed to the scrum-half, under great pressure from the Alnwick pack, was spilt and seizing on the tumbling ball, Harry Ash landed on top to open Alnwick’s score card.
Alnwick were proving to be a handful with quick ball from the forwards fired out by Bruno Smith and switch moves opening up gaps in the Berwick rear-guard.
Captain Callum Burn capitalised on an overlap on the wing and ran half the length of the pitch, outpacing the Berwick winger and full-back, to go over the line and placed it under the post. He then stepped back and converted.
However, this second try awoke a sleeping giant and the Berwick forwards started their campaign in earnest.
Alnwick’s defence held with superb individual efforts. William Nelson, at outside centre, put in some huge tackles against much larger Berwick players.
However, this sustained offensive effort from the Berwick forwards resulted in the ball being passed to their quick and powerful centre who exploited a gap in the Alnwick defence and ran in a break-away try, which was converted.
In the closing stages of the first half, Berwick launched an attack from halfway with a giant of a player driving through on the blind side of a maul then, at amazing pace for a youngster this size, showed the Alnwick defence a clean pair of heels and ran the ball in for a well-deserved try under the posts.
The try was converted taking the home side into the lead, (14-12).
Alnwick kicked off the second half and pushed the ball into the Berwick 22. Berwick went through the phases and a maul ensued.
Alnwick turned the ball over and it was passed to the Artful Dodger Joe Nicholson. Nicholson made a dummy pass and side-stepped two defensive players to go over for a try under the post.
The try was converted.
Alnwick’s Jamie Robson accelerated towards the line and over for the try.
Brad Sansom delivered the next try.
Scott Harvey broke through a number of tackles and launched down the park only to be halted just short of the centre but with close support of Alex Sweeney, Callum Milling and Ben Courty the ball made its way to captain Callum Burn who ran with pace and with close support from Milling, Harvey, Courty and Sweeney for the try.
The next try was a brilliant intuitive offensive play. Tom Pattinson, seeing the Berwick full-back out of position, kicked the ball into Berwick’s 22, chased after it and dropped on it for the try.
The last try of the day went to captain Callum Burn for his hat-trick.
The Alnwick squad showed their mettl once again. Great effort from both sides and the score was not a true reflection of how competitive the game was.