Alnwick travelled to the picturesque town of Kirby Lonsdale in South Lakeland on Saturday hoping to build on their tremendous win against Kendal at Greensfield the previous week.
Confidence was high, both in the team and amongst Alnwick’s impressive number of travelling supporters, in the hope of taking two Westmorland scalps in succession and moving up the Northern Premier league.
Kirby were in a similar position to Alnwick having won two of their games although they have a game in hand due to their game against local rivals Vale of Lune being abandoned last week.
After the first scrum Alnwick lunched a series of probing runs in midfield through Bachurzewski, Bird and Phillips but they failed to penetrate the home defence. Kirby Lonsdale began to get themselves in the game and went ahead after eight minutes with a penalty, Hamilton holding on to the ball. 3-0.
They were to increase their lead when a poor lineout by the visitors on their 22 allowed the home side possession with openside Rogers going through for a converted try. 10-0.
Alnwick replied with a strong run by Bird forcing Kirby to concede a penalty, quickly taken by J Burn, the promising move ending with a knock on by H Burn. Bird then spurned a chance to put Alnwick on the scoreboard missing his penalty attempt.
The visitors were enjoying most of the ball at this stage and were doing their best to make something happen. However, encouraging moves ended with handling errors. Kirby were also competing well at the breakdown with Alnwick failing to prevent turn over ball on a number of occasions. C Burn attempted to clear his lines but the home team ran it straight back for Armistead to go over on the left. 15-0.
The sides then exchanged penalties, Alnwick scoring through Bird 15-3, but after giving away a penalty on the half way, indiscipline saw them marched back 10m allowing Kirby a successful kick at goal. 18-3.
A promising but unsuccessful Alnwick attack brought the half to a close.
With F Hutchinson off with a knee injury, the visitors rejigged their backs, Ord coming on at scrum half, S Hutchinson at outside centre, Cuthbert moved to inside with J Burn on the wing.
A searing run by Kirby’s Bargh was eventually halted but at the cost of a penalty against Gray for off side. 21-3.
The home side’s Fishwick was yellow carded for a high tackle and Alnwick began to hold the ball for longer periods of time but again simple errors thwarted their progress.
Sutheran came on for Young, Smith for Phillips and at last Alnwick gained some consolation for their efforts when their man of the match Cuthbert typically weaved his way through the home defence to feed C Burn who scored, converted by Bird. 21-10.
Kirby added another three points, Alnwick yet again penalised at the breakdown to bring the final score to 24-10.
A hugely frustrating afternoon for the visitors who did not at all play well but for whom nothing seemed to come off. The breakdown especially caused problems although credit must go to the Kirby Lonsdale back row. The return fixture at Greensfield in January will give Alnwick a chance to show what they are really capable of.
A rest day this coming Saturday for the 1sts but the 2nd team are at home against Novos and the 3rds away to Gateshead 2nds. The next 1st team game, October 13, is home to bottom of the table Vale of Lune. There will be a ‘Ladies Lunch’ at which everyone is welcome. Names to Michelle at the club. 01665 602342