Another Defeat for The Bees
Bees limp away from Alnwick with nothing.
The Bees went into this difficult looking fixture on the back of a midweek crisis which saw 6 props declaring themselves unavailable for the long haul north. The crisis was only partially resolved by kick off as Michael Crotch was declared fit and an injured Ryan Wederell took his seat on the bench as a back up to debutant Sam Shimmin. The other front row replacement was First Team manager Benji Pickin who would have also been making his first team debut had he entered the fray. The Bees fielded Troy Frisch in the second row, making a first appearance in Bees colours since joining the club after plying his trade with Old Crossleyans last season. Max Mountain moved from back row to the wing, with coach Benny Greaves coming out of retirement to play at scrum half.
It didnt take the home side long to run in the first of six tries, with Gray crossing after five minutes. The architect of Gray's try was Cuthbert and that same player was next over the whitewash to break up a period of scrappy play from both sides, which had seen Lee Neha slot a penalty for the visitors for the only points three Wagon Lane men would collect all afternoon. There was a consistent lack of line speed from the visitors which gave the home sides lively backs far too much time on the ball in midfield and when the Bees were able to halt a break in midfield, Alnwick always made ground out wide.
The Bees pack stuck manfully to their task, with Shimmin holding his own in the tight and youngster Louis Fraser scrapping for everything on the deck around the tackle area, but aside from the odd robust charge from James Morton, the Bees backline were unable to offer much to worry the home defence and seemed unable to get to grips with Cuthbert in the home midfield, but nevertheless, the visitors held out to half time at 14 points to 3.
Immediately after the turn round, Alnwick were over the white wash as Cuthbert fed Courty to dot down. The fourth try and the bonus point were sealed as a cross kick was fielded by Burn who galloped home. The home side seemed to growing in strength as the Bees defensive line visibly tired and the fifth try could have been the signal for the flood gates to open, particularly as the the previous fixtures had seen Martin Whitcombe's men allow three tries in the final ten minutes. Alnwick were unable to put their visitors to the sword quite so markedly, but still gathered a sixth try as there was no-one at home up the left wing as Hutchinson ran his second of the afternoon.