Defeat for Alnwick in first game

ROSSENDALE 36ALNWICK 10Alnwick rugby kicked off their new league season with a defeat at Rossendale in their first game on Saturday.

Monday, 9th September 2019, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 8:09 pm

With several of last season’s regulars having moved on and the demands of farming and family further depleting resources, the Alnwick side had an unfamiliar look to it.

Rossendale fielded a powerful looking side and, with a weighty pack and some solid citizens in the back line, it did not take long for Alnwick to come under pressure and Bedlow went over for an early converted try (7-0).

A second try, from Strong, was again converted by Allan for 14-0 with 15 minutes gone.

An Alnwick penalty drifted wide, but Rossendale were in the ascendency and a third try from winger Hall made it 19-0, the conversion 21-0.

With half-time approaching, Alnwick mounted a period of pressure stemming from a powerful run from the bustling Mallaburn, and after several forward drives deservedly got flanker Richardson over for the try which went unconverted for 21–5 at the interval.

The turn-around didn’t improve Alnwick’s fortunes, as after only two minutes lock Green wood powered over for the bonus point try with Allen making it 28 5.

A penalty from Allen extended Rossendale’s lead to 31–5 but sterling work by Alnwick, particularly centres Burn and skipper Cuthbert, was rewarded with a try from Burn for 31–10.

Although the conversion was missed there were plenty of encouraging signs from Alnwick as their impressive early season fitness and stamina made them a combative presence all around the park.

In the final 25 minutes they kept a tiring Rossendale at bay and twice went close to scoring before an unconverted try from Kieran Allen in the dying seconds gave the 36–10 score-line at the final whistle a slightly flattering gloss.

There can be no complaints that on the day the better side won, and although one sensed that to a certain extent Rossendale are still a work in progress. Alnwick meanwhile should not be disheartened by the score-line as they showed determination and were competitive throughout.