Alnwick RFC 2nds 20-12 Morpeth RFC 2nds
Alnwick’s 1st team’s game at Huddersfield was cancelled on Saturday morning because of a deep frost and snow on the Yorkshire pitch.
The main focus of the weekend for the club became the 2nd team Candy Cup quarter-final against local rivals Morpeth.
This gave a home crowd the chance to see a number of the 2nd team who have been playing well of late, Neil with his support play, Hooker green who is dynamic in the loose, Young Moir who is fast becoming an effective fly half at this level, Burnett with his direct running and other players who make this an exciting team to watch..
The home team began strongly with a Mallaburn break seeing the ball shifted to Atkinson to touch down in the corner. O’Grady converted a difficult kick, 7-0.
This was followed quickly by an opportunist piece of skill when scrum half Todd, seeing his intended pass blocked by the Morpeth number 8, spun around, sold a dummy and proceeded to race for the line. O’Grady hit the bar with the conversion attempt. 12-0.
This inspired the team into, if not champagne rugby at least Prosecco rugby with Ord executing a beautiful off load and Atkinson attempting a backhand pass at speed.
A very cold day but the crowd were enjoying the entertainment.
Burnett was unfortunate to be penalised for playing the man before the ball when chasing an intelligent kick by Warcup. By half time Morpeth had barely been in the Alnwick half although twelve points may have seemed scant reward for so much home side pressure.
Alnwick brought on three replacements at the beginning of the second half Frost, Isaacs and Gray and it paid dividends with Frost going over for an unconverted try.
Morpeth hit back almost immediately with a try of their own. 17-5. This inspired the visitors to play their best rugby of the game and with a turnover on their own 5m line, they broke up the left with Alnwick bereft of cover to score their second try which was converted bringing the lead back to only five points in Alnwick’s favour. 17-12.
This stung the home side back into action and they pressured Morpeth with a series of catch and drive mauls which the visitors could only counter by giving away a number of penalties.
The referee eventually lost patience and produced a yellow card. Sensibly, Alnwick chose to kick a penalty to bring the score to 20-12 ensuring that the visitors needed more than a converted try to win the game and reach the quarter-finals of the League Cup.
Alnwick: O’Grady, Burnett, Warcup, Mallaburn, Atkinson, Moir, Todd, Neil Green, Davey, Young, Bell, Strong, Ord Ellis.Frost, Isaacs, Grey.
Alnwick 1sts are at home to Malton and Norton on Saturday, sponsored by Young RPS with the 3rds away to Ryton.