West 39 Alnwick 20

By El Pedro - October 26 2013
West 39 Alnwick 20
Two Tries The scoreline itself may not suggest it but this was an emphatic victory over Alnwick as we ran in seven tries - the winning margin only dented by missing a handful of conversions and conceding two late scores.

Nevertheless a bonus point win was just what we needed and with Cleckheaton suffering their first defeat of the season at the hands of Huddersfield YMCA things have tightened up further at the top of North One East. It goes to show that teams are all capable of taking points of each other, particularly at home, and it seems unlikely there will be a runaway winner in this division.

On an unseasonably mild afternoon Alnwick got off the better start and with their reputation of a useful back division looking to be well-founded, held possession for the opening few minutes. James Bird put them in the lead with a well struck penalty after 5 minutes but dropped short with another from longer range two minutes later.

With the ball in hand Alnwick looked a useful side but defensively they were exposed all too often and after Ian Pinchen broke away to touch down for our first score after 15 minutes, the procession of tries continued for the rest of the half.

Ryan Painter was next to shrug off a tackle from the base of a scrum and gallop in from 25 metres then Scott Butcher stretched his legs up the right wing to score in the corner despite the close attention of his opposite number.

Bird should have pulled three points back but saw his penalty attempt rebound off the post and moments later Luke Mallinson slipped through a gap on half-way and raced clear for a try under the posts. The full-back, looking increasingly assured in the first XV, was across the whitewash again three minutes before half-time with probably our best try of the afternoon. He started the attack by running back a clearance kick and the ball was kept alive through several pairs of hands before Liam Bailey surged for the line. He was held up short but offloaded back to Mallinson to score the try.

Alnwick’s first notable attack since the opening exchanges ended with a James Warcup drop goal but at 29-6 at the break it already looked too far back for the visitors.

Bailey continued the scoring rate five minutes into the second half when sustained pressure led to a huge overlap on the left and the centre went in untouched, but from that point on the game became increasingly more even. Alnwick began to retain possession much better than they had in the first half and as they had already shown, with the ball they looked dangerous. We did add our final try through Adam Coates, from a rolling maul with a little over ten minutes to play, but the closing stages saw the visitors peg back our lead.

A long attack finally wore down our tenacious defence with prop Ben Boothman finishing off and a minute later Rory Mallaburn broke free up the right touch-line for another try. Two conversions from Bird gave the scoreline some respectability but despite Alnwick deserving some return for running the ball well, the coaches will be disappointed to concede late scores, particularly the second, in what had been an otherwise faultless performance.


West:  Luke Mallinson, Scott Butcher,  Andrew Cheslin, Liam Bailey, Peter Youll,  Stu Waites, Ryan Painter, Ian Pinchen,  Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates,  Michael Hogan,  Owen Bennett,  Dan Boatman [c],  Jon Boatman, Sam Miller.

Reps: Andrew Dixon, Chris Atkins, Kyle Jamieson.

Tries: Pinchen, Painter, Butcher, Mallinson 2, Bailey, Coates

Cons: Waites 2

YC: J Boatman

Alnwick:  James Bird,  Peter Moralee, Rory Mallaburn, Frank Hutchinson ,Andrew Shell [c],  James Warcup,  Ian Gray,   Andrew Johnson,  Harry Sordy,  Ben Boothman,  Josh Burgess,  Oli Sutheran,  Gordon Smith,  Robert Thompson,  James Hamilton.

Reps: Joe Weddle, Oli Hamilton, Peter Brown.

Tries: Boothman, Mallaburn

Cons: Bird 2

Pen: Bird

DG: Warcup

YC: Johnson

Referee: Carl Hall

West 39 Alnwick 20
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
27/10/2013 10:41
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Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
27/10/2013 11:17
Thoroughly enjoyable game and a scintillating half hour leading up to half time.
Agree that Mallinson deserves a special mention as does Pinchen and Rollins who were outstanding in the front row.

Two away games coming up so let's keep our focus.

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
27/10/2013 11:50
Did we relax in the last quarter, or did Alnwick suddenly find their feet?
Good win, though, and as Pedro says, this is going to be a tight league. Fitness might be the key when the heavy going has an influence on games, and we've not seen a fitter team than West so far.

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
27/10/2013 13:20
Good win WEST good 5 pointer. We must be aware of points difference. If we hadn't let in late scores so far this season we would be one position higher and that could be all the difference is come the end of the season. We MUST maintain our concentration until the final whistle!!!
Let us see what the next two weeks bring - 10 points I hope!!!

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
crazy craig (IP Logged)
27/10/2013 19:50
How did the stags get on and the 4ths

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Hardwick Man (IP Logged)
27/10/2013 20:00
Both Lost ... I am afraid

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
27/10/2013 20:51
I thought some superb ambition and hands - great display of quick thinking rugby. Rollins excellent again but Owen Bennett sets the pace of the pack so well (one late tackle excepeted!!!).

Did we see a White Card and not a yellow for the Alnwick lad??

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
carzy (IP Logged)
28/10/2013 03:12
keep up the good work lads

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
El Pedro (IP Logged)
28/10/2013 10:03
At first I thought the late scores were down to us switching off a bit but on reflection their first was actually a long attack during which we tackled very well they just retained the ball - something they had struggled to do in the first half when they had it. The last try was a bit softer.

That said we should have probably added to our own total in the final quarter which would have helped the points difference.

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Leg End (IP Logged)
28/10/2013 21:34
Thought West's performance was excellent on Saturday, it was the first match I have seen in a long time, so ill be back soon if its like that each week! A few mentions thought Rollins & Bennett & pinchen & coats were excellent and in the backs, millinson, cheslin and bailey were outstanding. Keep on ongoing lads ! Pleasure to watch.

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
29/10/2013 05:24
Stats show 50% of tries we have conceded have been in the last 20 mins. At home it is 80% in the last 20 mins. Don't believe it is a fitness problem but a concentration problem. Something worthwhile looking into I would suggest.

Re: West 39 Alnwick 20
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
29/10/2013 13:42
Video now added.

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