Northerly neighbours take spoils in derby clash

Alnwick Lions 26

Morpeth Edwardians 17

The Lions began well and within five minutes James Hester broke from a maul and made 15 metres before slipping the ball out to Marty Wilcox who in turn slipped it back inside for Ricky Milburn to force his way over. Ian Donkin converted (7-0).

Morpeth pressed hard for an equaliser and appeared to have been rewarded when they broke through the Alnwick defence, but their centre ran over both try-line and dead-ball line. Minutes later they did have a try when they were able to exploit a gap in the Alnwick defence to touch down and convert (7-7).

This score was increased shortly after when Alnwick were penalised for not releasing on the bottom (7-10).

For the final 10 minutes of the half Alnwick, playing to their strengths, produced a superb period of play, during which Ricky Milburn broke from a maul and sent Chub Neil over. Donkin again converted (14-10).

The second half opened with Donkin kicking an early penalty before adding another three points 15 minutes later when Morpeth were penalised for going over the top (20-10).

With only five minutes remaining, a strong break from the Morpeth backs on the halfway line saw their winger run through to score. The conversion tightened the score to (20-17).

But Alnwick were rewarded with two penalties when frustration caused Morpeth players to concede successive offences (26-17).