Alnwick RFC 21-3 Kirby Lonsdale
For the first time ever, Alnwick welcomed Kirkby Lonsdale to Greensfield on Saturday and were looking to exact revenge after a poor performance and result away to the same side earlier in the season.
In a game generously sponsored by Penny Petroleum, Alnwick made a couple of changes from the previous week; Joe Weddle made his first start in the side for a number of seasons at full back, with Atkinson also returning on the bench. A reshuffle saw Moralee swap places with J. Burn from full back to scrum half.
Alnwick started well, containing their opponents’ attacks routinely for five minutes, before a turnover saw Callum Burn step through a gap and pass into the space on the left.
The ball reached his brother Jonny on the wing who beat the final defender to score. Bird, again playing in the second row converted from the 15m line, 7-0.
The second try came not long later, again the fly-half the orchestrator. Seeing space in behind, he chipped ahead and won the race to the bouncing ball. After linking with Moralee the ball reached Hamish Burn who cantered in to score near the posts for an easy conversion, 14-0.
Another excellent break from Alnwick should have seen the score extended further, but defending their own line resolutely, Kirkby Lonsdale won a penalty which allowed them to clear.
Some good possession and more Alnwick ill-discipline saw them presented with a kickable penalty, which Fearon despatched to get the away side on the board, leaving the score 14-3 at half time.
Greer replaced Clayton and Alnwick set about chasing the further two scores needed for a bonus point victory.
The second half started with some constant Kirkby pressure in the Alnwick half, with good tackling from the pack and outside backs keeping them contained. It was typical that around 55 minutes, Alnwick turned their visitors over and broke away down the left wing; Jonny Burn made good headway before passing inside to Moralee who strolled in under the posts, again converted by Bird, 21-3.
From this point both sides tried very hard in pursuit of bonus points, Alnwick, only needing one further score had a period of sustained pressure in the Kirkby 22, but could not break the defence down.
With a few minutes to go the visitors broke away after an interception in the centres; they looked to be dragging themselves back into the game, but the pace of Moralee and Burn meant they got back to make the covering tackle and the attack was thwarted and bundled into touch.
Alnwick cleared their lines but were not able to launch any further threatening attacks themselves, and so did not get the bonus point they were chasing.
Another good home win and another solid performance, Alnwick can be pleased with where they are at now over half way through their first season at this level.
They have a tough game away at Vale of Lune this Saturday, who themselves are a force at home.
Alnwick: D. Smith, H. Burn, D. Clayton, J. Young, J. Bird, B. Courty, J. Hamilton, B. Gothorp; P. Moralee, C. Burn, S. Hutchinson, F. Hutchinson, R. Cuthbert, J. Burn, J. Weddle. Subs: C. Greer, O. Sutheran, S. Atkinson.
* The Alnwick second team had an excellent win away at Darlington Mowden Park, 32 - 15, whilst the third XV slipped to a narrow home defeat to a strong Morpeth side.