INJURY-HIT Malton & Norton needed "something of a miracle" away to promotion-chasers Alnwick but it did not materialise as they were seen off 49-7 by their hosts.

The much more experienced Northumberland line-up punished every M&N error to rack up seven tries and hand the Ryedale side their heaviest defeat of their North East One campaign.

It was also their third loss on the trot and has left them eighth in the table, ahead of Saturday's home clash with Dinnington, one of the sides who are below them in the standings but are beginning to catch up.

It is hoped that some of the injured will be able to come back to bolster a struggling side.

M&N spokesman Bill Laidler said: "An injury ravaged and, in some departments, very inexperienced side travelled hoping for something of a miracle. Alnwick had other ideas and capitalised on each and every mistake made by the visitors.

"Indeed of their five first-half tries four came when Malton lost possession in attacking positions in the home half of the pitch. Alnwick were quick to get the ball out to their speedy wings and Malton could not cope with the pace out wide."

Malton's lone score of the match came in the first half after an Alnwick player was sin-binned for a deliberate knock-on close to his own line.

Malton opted for the scrum and a set move in the backs put centre Tom Foan through a gap to cross under the posts. James Bulmer converted.

Malton again went on the attack from the restart - only a loose pass was kicked ahead by Alnwick and again the visitors were outdone for speed as the defence was outpaced.

The touchdown made it 32-7, the hosts already in an unassailable position.

Malton had much more of the play in the second half but were unable to penetrate the watertight home defence.

As a result a tiring Malton were constantly knocked back and Alnwick's excellent number eight forward took control of proceedings, producing one solo try and making another following a tremendous drive from a lineout.

Malton were duly sent home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Malton: T Foan, P Angus, V Dyantjies, N Rangiuira, R Armitage, L Raduva, J Bulmer, R Featherstone, J Vasconcelos, N Salisbury, A Fothergill, S Emms, C Corner, T Lowry, W Hughes. Subs used: A Turnbull, C Reed.