Disappointment as Alnwick 2nds fail to progress in Cup

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Alnwick RFC 2nds 19-26 Tynedale Raiders

Alnwick 2nds were looking for revenge for their narrow 21-20 league defeat at Corbridge last October in this CANDY Cup encounter. However, in yet another close and exciting game, the Tynedale men came out victorious.

The first 15 minutes involved constant pressure from the visitors but the first score came from Alnwick when Haecherl intercepted a pass and put his head down for the line. 5-0. Back came Tynedale and after a 5m scrum the ball was forced over the line for a converted try. 5-7.

A tremendous kick off by Moir allowed Ellis to collect and make progress. However, the next score was another interception, this time the Tynedale stand off gratefully ran the ball three quarters the length of the pitch with Smails in gallant if futile pursuit, five years ago, maybe! 5-14.

More visitor pressure witnessed some resolute Alnwick defending with Brown on one occasion individually pushing back a Tyndale attempted driving maul.

At this point Alnwick were warned for persistent off side and Tynedale opted for a scrum. It turned out to be a bad decision with the home team trundling the visitors back a full 15m. Never-the-less, Alnwick were thankful for the half time whistle.

They began the second half well with Brady making progress before cleverly realising the ball out the back of his hand only for the move to be halted on the line.

Tynedale were fortunate not to concede a penalty, if not a penalty try, when they appeared to deliberately turn the scrum. Back came the visitors, again going over after a 5m scrum. 5-19.

At this point Alnwick raised their game considerably. Changes had been wrought at half time and Todd in particular was proving extremely influential preventing a certain try with a last ditch tackle at one end then scoring at the other. The try was converted by Moir. 12-19.

Todd’s pace and quick thinking brought a new dimension to the game as did Philipson’s running and experience. Quick penalties brought Alnwick up to the visitor 22m where they opted for a scrum. The ball went out to Smails who came into the line to score with nine minutes left. Moir again converted 19-19.

Sadly for the tremendous home crowd, two poorly executed lineouts proved costly to Alnwick. Tynedale took advantage of the first on Alnwick’s 22m and went over for another forward’s try 19-26 and then at the other end Alnwick again failed to collect the ball to end a promising attacking position. However, a great contest with much to please both sets of supporters.

Alnwick: Brown, Green Davison, Brand, Gray, Davies, Ord, Ellis, Grinders, Moir, Woods, Snaith, Haecherl, Mallaburn, Smails, Brady, Philipson, Thompson, Todd.

* Alnwick 1sts continued their successful start to the new year with a 7-24 victory at Vale of Lune. All Alnwick’s points were scored in the first half on a very wet Lancashire afternoon. Tries were scored by Holmes, Hutchinson, Cuthbert and Clayton with Bird converting two. The win, with an added bonus point, puts Alnwick in a very healthy sixth position in the league. Next week is a rest week with the next league game at home to Ilkley on February 9.