Alnwick clubs face survival Saturday

Action from Alnwick v Pocklington earlier in the season. Picture by Steve Miller
Action from Alnwick v Pocklington earlier in the season. Picture by Steve Miller

A crucial afternoon lies ahead for Alnwick’s senior football and rugby teams, who can both guarantee survival in their respective leagues today.

In the rugby, Alnwick’s trip to Morpeth has huge implications for both sides. A win for Alnwick would not only guarantee their place in North One East next season, but it could also relegate county rivals Morpeth, who are currently bottom.

Alnwick, playing in their first campaign at this level following league-winning promotion last term, sit sixth-bottom with 49 points – seven clear of the relegation line.

A win today would mean that they cannot be caught by any of the bottom three clubs in the dropzone going into the final match of the season on Saturday, April 12.

And if the Greensfield side record a heavy victory over Morpeth in today’s 3pm kick off, and stop them from scoring four or more tries, they will relegate their struggling rivals, who are six points behind fourth-bottom Middlesbrough.

Morpeth could be given a stay of execution though, even in defeat, with bonus points up for grabs and if today’s other results go their way. However, they are facing a massive uphill task to stay in the league.

The basement side, with 38 points, will be keeping an eye on the teams around them this afternoon. Malton and Norton (40 points) host Driffield, Sheffield (42 points) face Rochdale, Middlesbrough (44 points) entertain Cleckheaton and Northern (48 points) welcome Wheatley Hills.

In the football, Alnwick Town know that a point against second-bottom Esh Winning in the 3pm kick off is all they need to secure their Northern League, Division Two status.

With only one team being relegated this season – instead of the usual two – the Northumbrians, who sit fifth-bottom, are all but safe.

Winning can only match their points haul of 35 if they win their remaining three games, including today’s match at Alnwick, but have a hugely inferior goal difference.

It means that Alnwick require just a draw to make absolutely sure of survival.

Follow the action on the Gazette’s Twitter feed and then head to our website for match reports from both games.