Emphatic victory lifts Alnwick to within a point of third place

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Alnwick RFC 46-0 Huddersfield

Alnwick RFC entertained a Huddersfield side last Saturday, seventh in the league yet not quite safe from relegation.

The hosts on the other hand were hoping to further their promotion hopes.

Before the game, a minutes silence was held for the victims of the Westminster terror attack and for member Peter Halliday who passed away last week. Peter was a third and fourth team player and a great social ambassador for the club.

Alnwick began this game, kindly sponsored by M J Hickey, strongly, gaining an early turnover and a heel against the head.

The forwards took the ball on for a couple of phases before releasing the backs with Bird coming into the line and passing to Mallaburn to open the scoring on twelve minutes. 5-0.

A Bird penalty increased the score minutes later. 8-0 Huddersfield came a little into the game courtesy of the stand-off Tidal making good metres with meagre ball and who kicked effectively out of hand all afternoon.

The first try had been a team effort but the second Alnwick try was a joy to behold knocking Huddersfield for six just when they had progressed to the Alnwick 22 for the first time.

Burn, who had an outstanding game, stole the ball at the visitor’s line out made half way before passing to Southeran, who passed to Smith who outrageously dummied a pass before releasing Mallaburn for his second try. The support play in this move was outstanding. Bird converted, 15-0 after 30 minutes.

Huddersfield barely had time to draw breath before Mallaburn, moving inside from the kick off, caused havoc before Cuthbert received the ball and wove his way majestically through the visitor’s defence to add to the score. Again Bird converted. 22-0.

Alnwick were rampant and had not yet finished their tally for the half. Cuthbert delivered a cheeky reverse pass to the irrepressible Mallaburn who put Bird through on an unstoppable angled run to score a converted try and bring to a close the first half.

Clayton had replaced Phillips, Blackett was now on for Hamilton and Robson on for Gray on the wing.

Alnwick took their foot off the pedal a little at the start of the second half and it was to be twenty minutes before they added to their score, the effervescent Burn picking up a loose ball and sprinting for the line. 32-0.

The home team were picking up the pace again with Mallaburn making a good break which might have seen him back himself and go all the way. Bird was to do just that minutes later with a collect, run and chip through to score a converted try. 39-0.

With five minutes to go the scoring was completed when Burn pressured Huddersfield into a poor clearance which was seized on by Mallaburn who fed the ever present Smith who in turn released Warcup for a final converted try. 46-0.

The spring sunshine and Alnwick’s performance, especially in the first half, provided a feast of rugby for the fortunate home crowd. Success was a mixture of team and individual effort, Alnwick forwards providing a platform for the backs but also providing the sort of support which would make Eddie Jones smile.

The win moves Alnwick to within a point of Penrith in third place.

The next game is away to Malton and Norton.