Three out of three

Alnwick 29 Ponteland 7

Durham & Northumberland Division One

Alnwick struck in the opening minutes from a lineout when a Pont forward was penalised for going over the top and Stuart Bremner slotted home (3-0).

The home side had a couple more good chances but one saw them penalised for illegally preventing the ball to be brought to play and the other saw Nathan O’Grady make an excellent break only to drop the ball when over the try-line. Ponteland broke back with a crackling move before Alnwick threatened with a sharp backs move after Angus Todd and Frank Hutchinson had made the initial break allowing speedster Ali Gray to go through and wide for an unconverted try (8-0).

Ponteland came back with a rolling maul which saw them arrive at the Alnwick posts. They lost scrum-ball though as an overly-eager Pont lost control and were driven back to their 10-metre line. Alnwick won excellent ball out to Andy Shell who shot away up the touchline. Plenty of support finally saw Todd go over for a try. Conversion points added by Bremner to ease Alnwick ahead just as the opening half ended (15-0).

Alnwick made a splendid start to the second half. Ponteland had won the restart ball and shifted it wide only to see Ed Shell grab the interception and race through to touch down under the posts for another Bremner conversion (22-0).

There followed a period of play where both teams were equally guilty of some poor decision making which, added to some equally poor handling, saw the game plans broken up by scrummages and any continuity went adrift. Alnwick finally broke this when O’Grady kicked deep and wide where Ali Gray successfully challenged Ponteland full-back O’Brien. Support arrived and a drive through saw Alnwick take advantage of a five-metre scrum. Good ball was taken on by Todd before Richard Ellis drove over for a try under the posts, again Bremner added the conversion (29-0), shortly before Pont scored through Maunday, converted by Mullins (29-7).

Team: S Bremner, A Shell, A Gray, F Hutchinson, E Shell, H O’Grady, A Todd, P Brown, S Allen, B Bookman, R Ellis, A Alexander, G Smith, M Gray, A Armstrong, J Kelly, H Sordy, T Hall.