Morpeth 22 Old Crossleyans 20 North One East
MORPETH got their season back on track with an excellent hard fought victory against Yorkshire opposition on Saturday.
They welcomed back three very experienced players – Matty Jinks at fly half, Richie Armstrong in the back row and ex-Morpeth club captain David Dickinson, who made his first appearance for the club for some time after a spell at National League side Tynedale, where he had also gained international caps with the England Counties XV.
The home side started on the front foot and a well-worked try was scored from the first scrum by winger Ben Turner after a delightful pass from Jinks.
A second try followed almost immediately when good play by Ben Turner and James Turner put young Alex Tait clear on the left wing and he scored despite the efforts of the visitors’ cover defence.
Unfortunately, Morpeth then repeatedly fell foul of the referee from the North Midlands. They were regularly penalised and the Crossleyans kicker soon made it 12-12 with four penalties.
It took two magnificent tackles by James Turner and Ben Turner to stop what looked like certain tries for the away side, but just on the stroke of half time – again after a spell of penalties – Crossleyans scored to make the half time score 12-17.
The start of the second half was played almost entirely in the Morpeth end of the field and the players had to defend well to stop themselves from falling further behind.
But the visitors started to give away penalties and the hosts had some attacking pressure. Crossleyans then had two men sent to the sin bin for deliberately and illegally stopping a Morpeth try and the Mitford Road men took advantage when Joe Forsythe touched down.
Jinks kicked over the conversion to put Morpeth ahead 19-17.
Another Crossleyans penalty once again gave the visitors the lead only for the excellent Jinks to win the game with a penalty. The final score of 22-20 gave the home side four very valuable points.
The Morpeth victory owed much to the eight forwards who dominated the set play at the scrum and line-out, the determination of the young players to make several try-saving tackles and the ever reliable boot of the fly half.
This was a very satisfying game and the side can now look forward with confidence to their next match away to local rivals Northern.
• The Edwardians put in a decent performance to record a 23-19 away victory at Gosforth II.
Iain Menzies, David Lynn and Stu Arkle scored one try each and Ollie Smith kicked over two penalties and one conversion.
The Colts side lost 20-29 at home to Alnwick Colts at the weekend.
Adrian Jonas touched down twice and Connor Davison scored one try. Cameron Walker successfully kicked a penalty and conversion.