Huddersfield YMCA 0-20 Alnwick RFC
Alnwick travelled to Huddersfield YMCA last Saturday for the second of their four consecutive away games due to re-scheduling because of the weather.
The Laund Hill ground stands at 800feet above sea level and with the wind and rain blowing off the moor conditions were not perfect. Alnwick had Cuthbert injured with a broken hand, Davies with concussion and Smailes unavailable for selection. However, such is the strength of the squad that a formidable and confident team journeyed to Yorkshire.
It was not long before the visitors made their presence felt. On five minutes, centre Callum Burn made a break before releasing Atkinson on the wing to go over for the opening unconverted try. 0-5.
Very soon after, Burn himself became scorer when he chased a fly kick to beat defenders to the ball. 0-10.
Spectators might have expected a number of mistakes on such an inhospitable day but both teams made light of the conditions with few handling errors.
Alnwick forwards decided to get in on the act and secured a great deal of ball, however, it was the C Burn/Atkinson partnership which again produced the icing on the cake with the wing going over for his second try. 0-15.
Huddersfield began to compete more effectively in the closing stages of the first half and a try was on the cards when outside centre Andrade decided, unsuccessfully, to go it alone when perhaps a pass to the wing would have paid dividends. A decisive Bird tackle halted the move.
The home team were frustrated by scum half Moralee, whose accurate kicking out of hand kept play down in the Huddersfield half, Courty was tackling well, Young slowing down Huddersfield ball in the ruck and green, a terrier in the loose and at half-time Alnwick led 0-15.
Alnwick had made good use of the wind in the first half and it was never going to be quite so easy in the second.
Clayton at tight head had had a solid game but Philips replaced him allowing no respite for the home team front row. Hamilton also came on for antipodean Fox and an intriguing contest of two outstanding opensides took place for the remainder of the game.
Hodge for Huddersfield was extremely influential as was Hamilton. Jonny Burn at this stage chose to inject a moment of excitement into the game by sauntering back to cover at full back before giving team-mate Hutchinson a very unwelcome pass as the Yorkshire backs bore down on him at speed.
Alnwick’s handling was outstanding as they went through the phases looking for the all-important forth try which would secure a bonus point.
With Ord on for Bird the try came in the dying minutes when Smith ripped the ball passing to Hamilton who broke through and provided Moralee with an easy run in on the left. 0-20 the final score.
Huddersfield had lacked penetration but they faced a side whose scrum was dominant, whose lineouts have seldom been better and who played as a team with much skill and confidence.
The situation in North One East league is very interesting. Local rivals Morpeth hold top spot. If Penrith win their two games in hand they will go top and if Alnwick win their games in hand, again with bonus points they would be second one point behind.
However, much water must flow under the bridge between now and the end of the season.
Alnwick travel to Yorkshire again this week to face Dinnington
Alnwick: Bird, Atkinson, C Burn, Hutchinson, J Burn, Warcup, Moralee, Clayton, Green, Smith, Young, Grey, Courty, Fox, Gothorp, Hamilton, Philips, Ord.