Alnwick well beaten in rugby derby by Morpeth
ALNWICK RFC 5MORPETH 32Alnwick’s league season has started uncertainly with two fairly comprehensive away defeats and a narrow victory at Greensfield, so they were doubtless looking to restore their fortunes against Morpeth, their newly promoted local rivals.
Having beaten them comfortably to win the Northumberland Senior Cup at the end of last season, Alnwick had reason to feel optimistic about the outcome of this match, but sadly came off second best with an uncharacteristically lack-lustre performance.
Whilst there was collective disappointment at Greensfield , nothing should be taken away from Morpeth’s win as it was clear from the improvement in their standards that a lot of hard work had been put in on the training ground. Alnwick would have been equally industrious but will now recognise the need to up their game.
The opening instalments from Alnwick’s kick-off were inconclusive with some crunching tackles from both sides keeping play largely between the 22m lines. A couple of penalties apiece merely earned temporary shifts in territory before stand-off Ben Hornby put Morpeth 0-3 up from a penalty after 18 minutes.
Alnwick made little headway and were shortly forced to concede a 5m scrum on the left where a strong forward drive put Dynan over to make it 0-8 with the conversion missed.
With Morpeth’s forwards looking the more effective, Alnwick were soon under further pressure leaving a gap for Ben Hornby to score by the posts and add the extras himself for a 0-15 lead.
With a penalty, a conversion and a try already to his credit, Hornby only needed a drop-goal to complete a ‘full house’ and this he duly provided for a 0-18 lead at half- time.
Things looked grim for Alnwick who put themselves under pressure by conceding penalties and when flanker Donnelly burrowed over following a 5m line-out and Hornby converting for 0-25, prospects became even bleaker.
Despite prodigious efforts by Alnwick, with the front five plus Gothorp and centre Hutchinson to the fore, the home side persisted in yielding penalties until a breakaway from halfway left full-back Moralee hopelessly out-numbered three to one,
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