TYNEDALE Centurions put in a battling performance in their match against Alnwick Lions. 

Following a heavy defeat in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, the local side had a point to prove in the latest encounter. 

They lost again last weekend, but the 21-17 scoreline in windy conditions was a considerable improvement. 

Playing with the stiff breeze at their backs, Alnwick used the conditions well to build up a 21-10 lead in the first half.

Tynedale’s Jason Armstrong drove strongly over the half way line after 10 minutes, but a lack of support saw the ball stolen, and whipped quickly to a pacey Alnwick left winger who looked certain to score until he was flattened by a crunching tackle from  Tyne’s Jake Sloan. 

Mark Smales was over the ball in a flash to steal possession for Tyne, and prevent what would have been a certain try. 

But the reprieve was only temporary, because a scrum was awarded and Alnwick scored a converted try from close range.

The Centurions hit back with some powerful surges by the impressive front row of Adam Telfer, Ed Craney and Phil Scandle that took play close to the line, but Alnwick held firm and were able to use the wind to clear downfield. 

From one resulting line-out, Joe Green burst through several attempted tackles and linked-up with Keith Johnson, who drove to within 10 metres and fed scrum half Rory Dixon who scampered over. 

For the remainder of the half the visitors maintained most of the territorial advantage. 

Alnwick’s talented backs were able to cross for two more converted tries, despite the efforts of Tynedale to keep them at bay.

In the second half, Tynedale narrowed the deficit with a fine score by impressive number eight Rhys Loughhead who crashed over wide out following good work from Dave Nicholls and Andy Neal, who set up a ruck, and Jamie Dixon broke to the right to set up the try.

After the break, Tynedale dominated possession but were held out by a resolute defence. 

James Sample, Michael Brown and Karl Main all went close until Rory Dixon darted over for his second try, with Micky Hall adding the conversion. 

Several desperate attacks were launched by the Centurions in a bid to to find a winning score. 

In the closing minutes, Tom Shrimpton almost collected an astute kick, but the ball rolled out of play to signal the end of the game.

It ended in defeat, but there were many positives for Tynedale Centurions.