Alnwick first XV crush Pontefract and Morpeth are just edged out by Keswick

Alnwick first XV hosted Pontefract on Saturday in a game between the sixth and eighth placed teams in the Regional 1 North East league, while Morpeth were at home to Keswick in a Regional 2 North match.
Alnwick RFC beat Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFCAlnwick RFC beat Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFC
Alnwick RFC beat Pontefract on Saturday. Picture: Alnwick RFC

Alnwick went into the game on the back of a 29-19 defeat away at Driffield the previous weekend, while Pontefract, who are in their first season in the league, beat Scunthorpe away in their last match and were looking for their third straight win.

In the end, the Pontefract team were undone by indiscipline and injury, especially in the second half, when they gave away penalty after penalty, saw two players receive yellow cards and lost Tad Nyanjowa, probably their best player on the day, to injury, having already seen Richard Dedicoat leave the field after sustaining a nasty-looking injury.

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The visitors started well, taking the lead with a penalty and repelling Alnwick’s attacks, before Alnwick started to punish Pontefract for giving away penalties, racking up the points to go in at half time 19-6 ahead.

They then took the game by the scruff of the neck, not allowing the visitors to get any more points on the board as they ran out 48-6 winners.

The seconds also had a good win, beating Medicals 2s 60-12.

Morpeth lost a close match against Keswick, going down 12-13.

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The visitors raced into a 0-3 lead after five minutes with a penalty kick before putting another penalty wide as Morpeth gave away possession too easily.

Keswick’s Ryan Weir touched down after 32 minutes to give the visitors a 0-10 lead before a try by man of the match Michael Craigs saw the teams go in at half time 5-10.

Morpeth couldn’t convert their second-half dominance into points and went further behind after conceding a penalty in the 50th minute.

They came back with another Craigs try after recycled ball close to the Keswick line saw Jack Elliott move slightly wide, before providing an inside pass to the flanker, who crashed over by the posts. The conversion from Kieran Smith was a formality and made the score 12-13 on 55 minutes.

It was anyone’s game, with the home side squandering chances with errors from two attacking lineouts on 70 and 75 minutes – the resolute Keswick defence holding on for the win.