Alnwick RC Colts 17-17 Hawick Colts
Alnwick Colts stunned visitors Hawick with a breathtaking performance in a thriller of a game at Greensfield that finished 17 points all.
The Scots side had arrived in a confident mood having battered Alnwick by 85 points to 5 early in the season in a match played on their turf.
Some home supporters had feared a similar scoreline was inevitable.
But the return fixture was to be a very different story on Saturday as Alnwick raised their game to new levels from the kick off right to the final whistle.
The dejected Hawick lads looked stunned as they left the field at full time.
To clinch the draw - and but for a bit of bad luck with a couple of conversion attempts - it could easily have been a win, was all the more remarkable, because Alnwick had none of their senior coaches on touchline duty.
It was left to injured Colts captain Jamie Comber to mastermind the tactics and he did a magnificent job.
Saturday’s snow had turned the pitch into a quagmire and the early exchanges were played entirely in Alnwick’s half. The pitch cut up so badly both teams should really have been wearing wellies.
Hawick, a big, strong, well-drilled side, eventually got the better of the Alnwick lads and by the half-time break were two unconverted tries to the good.
But it wasn’t just at Twickenham last weekend that a game of rugby between English and Scottish sides was turned on its head at the break.
Alnwick upped their game from the restart and clawed their way back into contention, scoring quick two tries of their own to level the rain-lashed affair at ten all.
Hawick then got across the Alnwick line a third time, but once again were pegged back by the home side, who boasted Newcastle Falcon’s prospect Drew Thompson in their front row.
There were some shuddering exchanges in the mud with Alnwick’s Fergus Burn catching the eye as a relentless and willing ball carrier.
The pick of Alnwick’s three tries was a cannonball run from the 22 metre line by Scotland age group player Ash Sinton who nonchalantly shrugged off several Hawick would-be tacklers to touch down under the sticks.
So with five minutes to go it was all square. The home side forwards were camped close to the Hawick try line and felt they got the ball down for a match-winning try in the final few phases of play, only for the referee to rule the ball had not been grounded.
* Alnwick 1st XV were without a game at the weekend because of the final roiund of games in the Six Nations Championship.
This Saturday they are back in action when they travel to take on Sandal, whilst the 3rd XV are home to Medicals 2nds.