THE post-Christmas blues came early to Mitford Road as Morpeth RFC U14s fell to their third defeat of the season after a lacklustre performance against a good Durham City team who made the journey on a cold and frosty Sunday morning.
Morpeth youngsters could take away few positives from the 28-5 scoreline, which saw Durham run in four tries in response to Morpeth’s three, in a game that most will be keen to forget.
Poor tackling together with lack of impact, physical commitment at the breakdown and ambition in open play were the features of a very under-par Morpeth performance, which at times promised to spark into life but fizzled out as both teams struggled to gain the upper hand in the early stages.
It was Durham who opened the scoring after 10 minutes, quickly building a two-try advantage before winger Ben Sweet went over in the corner to bring Morpeth back into the game.
The ever-busy scrum-half Will Allen added to the Morpeth try count, touching down following his own opportunistic chip and chase, but any renewed optimism for Morpeth soon evaporated as they failed to capitalise on their best spell of a scrappy first half.
Durham never looked in danger of letting their lead slip and indeed added two more well-taken tries (both converted, adding to their two previous successful kicks) to secure a well-deserved victory – despite Morpeth second-row Sam Fieldson powering over in the closing stages following a rare sally in the opposition half by a Morpeth team that really couldn’t wait for Santa to come quickly enough.
Eyes are now on the new year and a return to winning ways as the Mitford Road team look to rekindle their early-season winning ways and a possible end-of-season Northumberland Plate Cup run.
The youngsters will also be looking forward to their first ever overseas tour as they travel to Holland at Easter for two matches.