Morpeth Colts 45 North Shields Colts 19
SUNDAY saw Morpeth Colts kick off their cup campaign at home against North Shields, and while the club prepared for the evening’s fireworks display, the Colts were looking to put in a sparkling display of their own over the bridge on pitch three.
From an early line-out, the home side rucked well and went through several phases of play with forwards supporting backs well, creating space wide out. The ball found Court on the right-wing and he would not be stopped, beating his opposite number on the outside, he ran round to score between the posts, with Tapscott adding the extras it was 7-0 to the hosts.
North Shields were galvanised by this early setback and upped their game, but Morpeth more than matched them and, although they put the hosts under pressure in the scrums, they couldn’t live with them in the backs.
The next score came with a clever move in midfield through Alex Tait running a good line and scoring on 19 minutes. Tapscott again converted, 14-0 to the Mitford Road young guns.
The next score came four minutes later, fly-half Tapscott made a break through a half-gap, managing to break a desperate tackle on halfway. He charged straight up the middle of the pitch to score between the posts, adding the two points himself for 21-0 at half-time.
Changes were made at the break with Ward moving from flanker to number eight and Parkin moving into the second row for Michael Holland, Sam Lamont came on at open-side flanker and Jack Elliott came on for Andrew Telford at scrum-half.
Elliott got the second half under way with North Shields receiving the kick deep in their own half. It wasn’t long before the Morpeth pack managed to turn the ball over through the industry of Donnelly and Lamont. The ball went down the right-wing with the ever-impressive Ward in support taking the ball at pace and crashing over in the corner, making the score 26-0.
Shields took a short restart and this time won the ball back, the home team seemed to lose a little discipline and gave away a string of penalties allowing the visitors to gain territory and their forwards forced their way over for a well-deserved try, which was impressively converted (26-7).
This seemed to put a rocket up the home side as it took three minutes for them to respond. Regaining possession from the kick-off, they built a couple of phases, winning quick ball. Ward came into the backs line and he managed to flick a pass onto winger Brent Stewart, who ghosted past the defending winger and beat the full-back to score just to the right of the posts, with Tapscott converting (33-7).
The next score came again from Ward after a sustained period of pressure in the away 22 by the home pack. He crashed over in the corner for his second try (38-7).
Changes were again made with Bradley coming on for Birch in the second row and Quayle now on for Court on the wing. It wasn’t long before Quayle was in the thick of it. Receiving the ball on his wing, he made a good run down the left, passing the ball to Stewart, who had come off his wing to support, but he was stopped just short of their 22.
Again the hard-working back row were on hand to support and retained the ball, allowing play to carry on into the midfield with centre Liam Scott making good ground deep into the 22, only to be stopped five metres out. With the pack getting there in numbers, it was the young loose-head James Lemin who took the ball on and dived over the try-line for a very popular score. With the two points added, it was 45-7.
Credit has to be given to North Shields who never gave up and in the final 10 minutes scored two tries of their own, the game ending 45-19.
This was an impressive performance by the young Morpeth side.
Team: Donaghy, Court (Quayle), Tait, Scott, Evans (Stewart), Tapscott, Telford (Elliott), Lemin, Gallagher (Bailey), Stoker (Reed), Birch (Bradley), Holland, Donnelly, (Lamont), Ward, Parkin.