Alnwick rugby bounce back to their winning ways
Alnwick put last week’s defeat at Ilkley firmly behind them on Saturday with a 16-13 home win against Kirkby Lonsdale, a win that witnessed some fine individual performances complementing a spirited team effort.
Early pressure by the visitors was relieved by Callum Burn’s precise kicking from hand, a feature of his play throughout the afternoon. This was always going to be a close game and 15 minutes elapsed before Alnwick were able to break the deadlock with a dazzling move from a quickly taken penalty in midfield. Todd moved the ball to Moralee who broke through before supplying Jonny Burn to make no mistake in securing five points, 5-0.
The home team were looking much sharper than in the last two games, Smith typifying the effort in slowing down Kirkby ball and linking well with Gothorp. Moralee was coming into the line more so than he has been of late prompting a positive impetus to Alnwick’s play.
Clayton gave way to young Fergus Burn in the front row. When Frank Hutchinson was penalised for not rolling away on Alnwick’s 22, it looked as though the visitors might notch up an easy three points. Amazingly, Fearon for Kirkby missed the kick.
They were not to be denied a second time when Alnwick infringed, 5-3. However, the home side could be well satisfied with the first 25 minutes. The lineout was working well and the tackling much improved over previous games. It was just reward then, that the home side should extend their lead with another well worked try. Following excellent forward play, crisp passing sent the ball out to the left wing for Sean Hutchinson to go over, just before half time and a crucial time to score. 8-3.
Unfortunately, Alnwick were asleep at the kick off for the second half allowing Kirkby’s second row Galbraith to go over for a converted try for 10-10.
The home side’s forwards had play very well in the first half but with a match on their hands they raised their game further and their effort brought rewards, Kirkby having to concede an easily kickable penalty to put the home side ahead again,13-10.
With the scrums fairly even, the game would be won or lost in the loose and sustained Kirkby pressure found Alnwick edging offside. Fearon took the score to 13-13 and ensured an
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exciting last 15 minutes to the game.
Alnwick’s turn now to force an infringement from the visitors with Burn claiming three points for a Kirkby offside, making it 16-13.
The Cumbrians gave their all in the final few minutes but in Moralee at full back and Callum Burn at standoff, Alnwick had the experience to weather the storm and secure a well deserved victory.
Young, Courty and Gothorp led the forwards well and their counter rucking in particular caused the opposition problems. For the backs, Jonny Burn’s return undoubtedly brings something to the team although they can all congratulate themselves on this welcome victory.
Saturday's fixture away to Harrogate, second in the league, will prove a stiffer test.