Alnwick edge out Horden

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HORDEN went agonisingly close to winning a topsy-turvy Durham and Northumberland Division One game, but could not stop Alnwick pipping them 25-23.

After Andy Raine cried off, Davy Heckles passed a fitness test and came in at 15.

Alnwick enjoyed the best of the early exchanges and took the lead through a penalty.

And after 20 minutes Alnwick extended that lead when the ball was turned over and moved through hands for their inside centre to go under the posts for a 10-0 scoreline.

However, Horden began to get a foothold in the game and Turner knocked a penalty over to make it 10-3.

And there was more delight when, from a five metre line-out, Dan Greener peeled around to crash over and level the scores.

Turner and Alnwick’s full-back traded penalties to make the score 13-13, but just before half-time Horden took the lead.

After two forward drives, Turner fed Witte, who had came off his blindside wing, who in turn fed Heckles, who crashed over out wide for an 18-13 half-time lead.

However, 10 minutes into the second half, Alnwick drew level again when their full-back went over.

Paul Malcolm seemed certain to score, but lost the ball in contact as he was about to go over the line and shortly afterwards, Heckles had the ball knocked out of his grasp as he stepped inside the last defender five metres out.

Horden eventually took the lead whenMalcolm pounced on a loose ball to score.

However, as Turner went to take the conversion, the ball fell off the tee and he had to drop kick it, missing two vital points. And it was to to prove costly when Alnwick took the lead with 10 minutes to go to take the final score to 25-23.

Horden tried to come back, but kept giving possession back to the visitors.

However, great defensive work by Heckles meant Horden at least finished with a losing bonus point.

H Sunderland’s dismal run continued with a 41-21 defeat at Stockton.

Sunderland seconds – featuring players from the thirds and the colts – outgunned Middlesbrough thirds 29-12.

Colin Wallace almost broke clear for the Ashbrooke men after good work from Duncan Bain, but Geehan sold an audacious dummy to cross over untouched for Sunderland’s first try, adding the conversion himself.

Sam Jeremy added a second in the corner for a 12-0 lead, but Boro got themselves back into it with two tries to level at 12-12 at half-time.

Sunderland ran the show on the restart, with Michael Brace dictating play from scrum-half. Brace, Clive Fish and James Cogdon all grabbed tries, with Dan Hinder knocking the ball on as he was about to bag Sunderland’s sixth score.