RUGBY PREVIEW: Alnwick v Horden

INJURED: Andrew Turner
INJURED: Andrew Turner

HORDEN are off the mark – and now the strugglers want to kick on at Alnwick tomorrow.

After going six Saturdays without picking up a solitary point, the colliery side collected a losing bonus in the 22-15 derby defeat at West Hartlepool.

The penalty try, with the last move of the game, had an element of good fortune, but after a season of nothing but bad luck there were no complaints from Glenn Bowman and his team.

They are 12 points from safety but they could close the gap with a victory in Northumberland tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

After opening their programme in style with back-to-back victories, Alnwick have fallen on harder times and are currently third bottom, the last relegation spot.

They have lost five in a row and while they have scored plenty of points during that sequence, their defence has been leaky at the other end.

Bowman said: “They are struggling as well. If we can show the same character as we did at West and we can take the opportunities we create then we’ll see what happens.

“I think the backs made some good openings and we defended well as a team.

“The lads should take confidence by the way they played – it was much more of a Horden-like performance in terms of desire, determination and grit.

“I was really happy with the way we finished the game and the character we showed.

“That was really pleasing to see and all that gives us something to build on tomorrow.”

The Horden back division showed plenty of ambition with Luke Watson constantly looking to bring full-back David Heckles and wingers Carl Oliver and Ross Brymer into play.

Horden though will be minus stand-off Andrew Turner who is out after taking a knock to his jaw.

Up front, prop Jona Hudson and Paul Malcolm are unavailable.

Jordan Yates makes a first start of the season at tighthead, while Ryan Walsh and Paul James form the second row.