Alnwick 2nds and 3rds both into semi-finals
ALNWICK II 34
MORPETH REIVERS 10
Alnwick’s 1st XV were without a game on Saturday as their visitors for the afternoon, bottom-of-the-table Beverley, were unable to bring a team up to Greensfield.
However, the Alnwick faithful were rewarded with an enjoyable 2nd team Senior Shield County Cup quarter-final game against local rivals Morpeth.
Alnwick fielded a mixed team of the experienced and promising youngsters.
Captain Stephenson set his stall out early on when, with a kickable penalty, he confidently chose to kick for touch.
Morpeth infringed at the resulting line-out, Alnwick opted for a scrum and the shove gave No 8 Thompson the chance to pick up and go over for the first try. It was converted by Mallaburn, and he was not to miss a place kick all afternoon.
For a long period, both teams now attempted to get the measure of each other before Morpeth were penalised for lying on the ball, and Alnwick increased their lead from the ensuing penalty to 10-0.
Mallaburn added to his points tally with an unstoppable run resulting in a try, which he converted for 17-0.
Morpeth replied with a drop goal on the stroke of half-time to go in 17-3 down.
The home side began the second half with great determination, and a fine break by Hamilton, ably backed up by Gray, forced Morpeth to concede a penalty, making it 20-3.
The Alnwick forwards were ensuring that Morpeth were getting poor ball from their put-in at the scrum, but a determined effort by their centre was only just snuffed out by Hamilton five metres out. As with the 1st team, this 2nd XV always seemed capable of hitting the opposition on the break, which is exactly what happened when Cuthbert burst down the wing from his own 22. He was never going to make the try line, but Mallaburn was on hand to complete the move for 27-3.
Morpeth, to their credit, never gave up and came back with a converted try before Potts sealed the victory for the home team with a converted try.
ALNWICK LIONS 32
MORPETH EDWARDIANS 30
Alnwick 3rds went through to the semi-final of the 3rd team cup with an exciting but narrow victory against rivals Morpeth.
Alnwick are the holders of this trophy, having beaten Novos’ 3rds in last year’s final.
They opened their account at Greensfield when No 8 Davies peeled off an Alnwick drive to go over the line. Alnwick were dominating this facet of the game and Neil benefited when he scored a pushover try. However, it was not all forward play as the Alnwick full-back chipped over the visitors’ defence and scored under the posts.
Morpeth were giving as good as they got, and before both teams could draw breath, it seemed that the end of the game was in sight with only a short period of time remaining and the score standing at 27-27.
Morpeth then scored a penalty before, with minutes remaining, Nick Biggers went over for Alnwick in the corner.
At 32-30 the game had one final twist when Morpeth were awarded a kickable penalty with no time left. Luckily for the holders, the ball grazed the outside of the post.