14/15 1st XV. 1st XV 33 - 0 Horden.

1st XV - won 33 - 0 against Horden and also managed that very important bonus point. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie.
"They think it's all over”, well not quite - a point i.e. 4 tries or a losing bonus against Alnwick on Saturday will see us retain our place in the league. Saturday saw us entertain Horden, sadly leaving our league, but who, with 2 bus-loads of supporters via the Coxlodge Welfare club for lunch made their presence felt and ensured that Northern were not in for an easy ride. The plan was to get a win with the 4 try bonus point and this was achieved. Although the Horden pack were heavier Northern disrupted their put in at the scrum and Tom McCullough scored a try after just 4 minutes which Donal Collins improved. This settled the natural nerves and in difficult windy conditions it was no surprise with good handling Dom Fawcett - after a welcome return from injury- chipped ahead, gathered and scored under the posts, again improved by Donal Collins. Horden however caused problems at the line-outs, which were frequent, and Northern had to depend on scraps for opportunities and from a midfield turn over Alex Clark sped away. With good support play the ball travelled through various hands until Tom McCullough scored his second try.
Now facing the elements - not always a disadvantage - Northern's fitness began to tell and again good handling allowed Paddy Fisher to score, which again Donal Collins improved. With the bonus point in the bag and with next week’s game in mind, plus the odd injury, Northern's play stuttered and errors occurred until Donal Collins nipped though by the posts which he improved to make the final score 33-0. A very satisfactory outcome although the loss of Rob Kinnell to a shoulder injury for the season cast a cloud on the result. As I said at the beginning of this report we need at least a point next weekend to be absolutely sure of our place in the league and I am certain all support will be very welcome. Maybe a trip round Alnwick Gardens in the morning then to the match. Perfect!!

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