South Shields Westoe competed very well in what was a close affair which unfortunately ended in a narrow home defeat to Alnwick, losing 23–12.
In what were difficult playing conditions, both sides competed well and both defences were on top and pretty much cancelled out most attacks.
Alnwick were first to score points with a well-taken converted try to make it 7–0 on the 15-minute mark.
Set-pieces were going to be important, with the weather making it difficult to play attractive running rugby, and it proved significant later in the game.
Westoe soon got back into the game with a good try from a well-drilled catch and drive from an attacking lineout to make it 7–5.
Westoe then held possession of the ball for long periods of time, covering up to 10 phases of play, yet without converting this possession into any points as the Alnwick defence stood firm.
Alnwick were next to strike with a penalty as the Westoe defence were judged to have gone off their feet a ruck to make it 10–5.
The game was now in the balance with the first half finishing with Westoe going down the hill for the second half with the wind at their backs.
The game continued at a fractious pace yet being littered with mistakes by both sides with more knock-ons than they will want to remember.
Westoe built all of the pressure and forced Alnwick down into their own 22, yet could not convert the territory into points.
A loose kick from Westoe was then caught and Alnwick ran the ball wide to their speedy winger who then scored on the far left hand corner without a successful conversion to make it 15–5.
More good rugby from Westoe thus produced the try of the game with a great backs move – a dummy scissor from home fly-half Dave Haswell to score under the posts with the conversion duly dispatched by full-back Luke Moffat to make it 15–12.
The game remained in the balance for a further period of time with both sides throwing everything into the game. Further ill-discipline at a ruck then gave Alnwick their penalty kick through the posts to make it 18–12.
Westoe continued to press their attack without any success and Alnwick turned over yet another a ball to score a breakaway try to make it 23–12.
Westoe were pressing with attack after attack to try and get at least a losing bonus point – yet this was again not converted into points.
The game ended with the home side being frustrated as this was a match that they had lost which could have been won.