Morpeth 15 Old Crossleyans 14 North One East
MORPETH continued to provide the Mitford Road faithful with plenty of cheer with this entertaining and exciting encounter against their Yorkshire rivals.
It was a match that could very easily have gone either way with both sides missing opportunities and Crocs failing to take advantage of a couple of two-on-one situations which were to prove crucial in the long term.
Nevertheless, the home side probably just deserved the spoils with second-half pressure that saw little of the play in their own half.
It was a lovely autumnal afternoon which greeted both sides and it was Old Crossleyans who took the lead with a simple penalty after five minutes. They doubled their score after 20 minutes with a further three points as they looked the more livelier of the two sides in the early encounters.
Yet Morpeth took the lead with a rare incursion into the opposition half.
An attacking line-out followed by a catch and drive saw scrum-half Cunningham show good strength and burrow over.
Phillips’ conversion via the post made it 7-6 to the hosts.
The Crocs again took the lead with another penalty before Cunningham put his stamp on the game.
A quick tap and go saw him race 50 metres before Wilkinson showed a good turn of pace to outstrip the defence and score a try. This time, Phillips’ conversion hit the post but did not go over (12-9).
Morpeth dominated the second half in terms of territory, with Phillips kicking over a penalty to extend their lead to six points, but they missed some opportunities to pull further ahead.
And when the visitors went on the counter attack, Morpeth did not chase down effectively an excellent move which saw the Crocs go over in the corner for an unconverted try.
To their credit, the Mitford Road men hung on to gain a vital one-point victory against a side that has performed very well this season.