1st XV lost 24 – 26 at home to Alnwick. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
In spite of a thorough pre-match preparation Northern were caught cold when the visitors scored a converted try in the first minute. However with Ed Kell and Jamie Powell commanding at the line Northern possession was rewarded with a well worked try by Harrison Clark, converted from the touch line by Donal Collins, who also kicked a long penalty to put Northern ahead 10 - 7. Northern's aggressive tackling forced Alnwick to make errors and 2 further tries by Sam Wilson and Harrison Clark, both converted by Collins, put the home side ahead 24 - 7 at half time.
Alnwick, 3rd in the league, responded vigorously in the second half and reduced the deficit with a try. Both teams had chances but when the visitors moved their electric scum half to the wing his pace proved too much for the home defence and he scored a try. Now with their tails up Alnwick closed the gap further when, from a catch and drive, they scored a further converted try. Northern responded and when Dean Holliday was put through to score the final pass was controversially deemed forward. Although the Alnwick pack at the resulting scrum were under severe pressure they managed to get the ball away and full back James Bird thundered through the Northern defence and scored under the posts to put the visitors 2 points ahead with just 2 minutes left. A possible 31-19 lead to the home side gone in a flash. Northern never gave up but could not quite manage to score although a final drop goal attempt was narrowly missed.
A losing bonus was scant consolation for Northern’s effort, however the confidence gained and the spirit shown will help Northern for their visit to near neighbours Morpeth next Saturday - yet another must win game!!
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