Alnwick add to Pontefract's woes while Morpeth ease theirs with tight away win

Forward Charlie Farmer celebrated his 50th cap for Alnwick in the win away against Pontefract.
Alnwick beat bottom club Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFCAlnwick beat bottom club Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFC
Alnwick beat bottom club Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFC

The home team are battling to stay in the Regional NE 1 and have struggled in their first season in the higher league, winning five and losing 14 games ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Pontefract did keep the score tight for the first 25 minutes, before Alnwick pulled away to win 26-10.

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They play league leaders Heath on Saturday in their last home league game of the season and will be hoping for a repeat of the scoreline at North Dean when they won 30-28.

Morpeth also scored a good away win which, although not erasing their relegation fears completely, was a huge step in the right direction.

Matters will be finalised should Morpeth beat Upper Eden at the weekend.

Morpeth drew first blood against Keswick when centre Jake McKay slotted a penalty after four minutes. Sadly, that was to be his only impact on the game, having to leave the field on 12 minutes with an injury. A reshuffle saw Ryan Shaw coming into the back row, with Micky Hall moving from flanker to centre.

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It was Shaw who made an immediate impact going over near the posts on 25 minutes for full back Harvey Gillie to convert.

The home side struck back with a simple penalty in front of the posts before drawing level on 35 minutes when an attacking scrum wheeled, allowing the number 8 to crash over for a converted try.

Back came Morpeth with former skipper Carl Hill, who crashed over wide out for an unconverted score, to give the visitors a half-time advantage – 10-15.

The second half continued in a similar vein with both sides giving their all in a match that could have gone either way.

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Two early second-half penalties gave the home side a one point advantage before Jonny Ward got a try that Gillie converted, to give Morpeth the lead.

Keswick fought back, and in the space of five minutes had regained the lead with two converted tries.

Morpeth left wing Nathan Arkle crossed for an unconverted score, before the game reached an exciting climax on 78 minutes when centre Simon Manley was high tackled, resulting in a penalty try and Morpeth securing the points – 34-30.