Morpeth 12 Cleckheaton 29 North One East
MORPETH returned from their recent unsuccessful travels with a home fixture against table-topping Cleckheaton, who subsequently ran out comfortable winners against the lacklustre hosts.
Morpeth only got to grips with the game in the second half, by which time the game was effectively over.
The first 40 minutes were a nightmare for the home side as Cleckheaton rattled home four tries with a mixture of forward dominance and astute back play, two tries coming from driving mauls at attacking line-outs while enterprising back play led to another score.
With two scores being converted, Cleckheaton were 24 points to the good.
Flanker Armstrong presented the main threat for the home side with his aggressive bullocking runs.
The second half started in the same fashion as the first with a further Cleckheaton try, but, to their immense credit, the home side then came into the game.
Kieran Brown, making his home debut at fly-half, showed both poiseand no little skill in bringing players running from deep, which allowed the more experienced Dickinson and Duggan to start influencing a game, taking a leaf out of the book of Armstrong aggression.
Halfway into the second half, Dickinson forced his way over with the impressive Brown adding the extras.
The too-little-too-late show continued when Brown and Tait combined to send Telford over.
This final salvo involving three young players recognises the promise for the future.
Saturday sees the return of the Farmers’ Derby in league terms when Morpeth make the short journey to take on Alnwick in a game of some importance for both sides.
Whatever the result, it is excellent news for both clubs to be playing in the same league.