Gosforth Falcons...22 Alnwick Lions...24
ALNWICK headed down to Gosforth on Saturday to play right next to the airport. And it was the Lions pack who started like jet engines, completely dominating the Falcons scrum, led by the destructive Lundy who had a monster of a game.
After a brutal scrum from the Lions had tied in all the Falcons pack, Robinson pinged a quick ball to Rob Ord, who stepped inside his man and shrugged off two tackles for a cracking try converted by Horsley (7-0).
The Lions continued to make an absolute mess of the Falcons scrum and league debutant Aaron Scott was impressing with some incisive runs and great off-loads.
The Falcons spilled line-out ball in their territory and Dave Smith was there to capitalise on the error and bash over to score. The conversion was missed (12-0).
A rare Falcons foray into the Lions half came to a shuddering halt with Lundy putting in a huge hit and Horsley cleared up to half-way.
Matthewson stole line-out ball and with Ord doing well by taking a shocking pass from Smith went marauding up the middle.
The ball was lost forward in the melee and the Falcons had another unwanted scrum which again the Lions simply hammered for number eight Smith to score his second try of the match from a yard out. Horsley converted (19-0).
The Lions, showing a bit too much bravado, tried to run the ball from every field position which resulted in Horsley throwing a loose pass. It was intercepted by the Falcons prop, who, with a lively turn of pace, burnt off the bedraggled Horsley and put the fly-half in to score an unconverted try (19-5).
At the start of the second half, the Falcons tight-head was yellow-carded for cynically killing the ball from an offside position. This helped the Falcons’ cause no end as the scrums went uncontested and allowed them to unleash their dangerous young guns in the back division.
A very different outlook on the game was becoming clear. However, the Lions marched forward through their forwards once more and when Scott was given room to run in, he offloaded beautifully in the tackle to Ord, who, with lovely hands, put in young Rory Straker to score in the corner. The conversion was missed (24-5).
The Falcons tighthead came back on and status quo was restored upfront, with Alnwick overwhelming the Falcons once more.
Strangely enough, not long after, much to the chagrin of Angus, Keen and Clark, one of the Falcons front-row had to retire injured and with no replacement front-row cover, scrums were uncontested again.
This time the Falcons made full use of this and with their back-line having much more time they started to put the Lions under heavy pressure and they reduced the deficit to 24-17.
With only minutes left, the whole complexion of the game had changed and it was to get worse for the Lions as the winger and full-back combined for the Falcons to score again to make it 24-22. But the Lions held out to keep them top of the league, after a hard-fought win against a talented young Gosforth side.
Man of the match: Couldn’t split them. Destroyer in chief Nick Lundy and league debutant Aaron Scott.