Lymm 52-13 Alnwick RFC
Alnwick went down to their heaviest defeat of the season last Saturday away to Lymm, for whom the five points will ease their worries about relegation.
The visitors were without three ball carrying forwards in Gothorp, Bird and Hamilton. Their absence in defensive duties may also have contributed to Lymm’s success when close to the Alnwick line. Will Pettifer made his league debut at open-side.
Alnwick kicked off with a following wind but were behind after five minutes when Shard broke through for a try. Bray, who was to kick well all afternoon, converted. 7-0.
Alnwick replied through a Jonny Burn penalty. 7-3. The visitors were competing well at this stage with Young particularly effective at the breakdown. Attacking up the right they forced Lymm to give away a number of penalties until referee Jones’ patience ran out and he yellow carded Prop Woods.
Holmes came on for injured Callum Burn and Alnwick took advantage of Lymm having no wing for Smails to come into the line and score a fine unconverted try. 7-8. Holmes came on for injured Callum Burn.
The Cheshire side replied after repeated drives for the line eventually bore fruit. Widdrington’s try converted. 14-8.
More pressure saw Smails deliberately knock on giving Lymm a penalty and earning the Alnwick full back the second yellow card of the game. 17-8 at half time.
The crowd had witnessed some excellent rugby from both sides and the visitors must have been pleased with their slick handling and the way in which they moved the ball about.
Clayton came on for Greer as the second half began with a series of well executed off loads by the home team leading to a further converted try. 28-8.
Alnwick were definitely still in it at this stage as witnessed by a pleasing move up the left initiated by the irrepressible Cuthbert, taken on by Clayton, to Moralee before the move finally was halted by an unfortunate knock on.
The 14 men came again and following a half break by Courty, Cuthbert was not to be denied this time, handing off a number of times in typical style, crossing the line for an unconverted try. 24-13.
Sadl y, this was virtually his last contribution to the game, being replaced by Weddle.
At this point, Lymm took greater control with Alnwick unable to prevent the home side’s dominance for the remainder of the game. Pressure resulted in the referee yellow carding young Pettifer, the victim of repeated visitor offences. Watson gave Lymm the bonus point converted try 31-13.
Alnwick attacked down the right through Moralee and Smails but a wind assisted clearance aided by some indifferent Alnwick tackling gave Lymm’s stand-off the opportunity to make it 38-13 with a converted try. Converted tries by Simpson and Macca added to Alnwick’s woe and they would have been pleased to hear the final whistle at 52-13.
Lymm used the wind more effectively than their opponents and on the day were the better team. However, Alnwick can take some consolation from some fine individual performances.
Courty played exceptionally well and Morallee led by example, marshalling, supporting, making breaks, a real captain’s game.
In the first half they played some fine ruby with fast ball and confident quick passing. They also held their own in the set pieces but ultimately found it too difficult to lose key players before and during the game.
Alnwick’s fine results in January and February have given them a good cushion as they still have four of the top six teams to play beginning with the home game against Harrogate at Greensfield on Saturday, 3pm kick off, preceded by a club lunch, names to Michelle.
Alnwick: Greer, H Burn, Smith, Sutheran, Young, Gray, Pettifer, Courty, C Burn,Moralee, J Burn, Hutchinson, Cuthbert, Atkinson, Smails, Clayton, Holmes, Weddle.
* The 2nd team won their County Cup match against Percy Park, 60-17 and are away to Middlesbrough Wasps in the league this Saturday.
* The 3rd team were beaten 14-66 by Morpeth in their County Cup match.