Alnwick 5 Morpeth 39 County Cup, Semi-Final
MORPETH made the short journey to visit their most closest of rivals and historically the most eagerly-awaited fixture when they played under lights in the semi-finals of the County Cup last Friday night.
The fixture was brought forward in order that matches can be completed within the league programme.
It was a fine autumnal night which greeted the two sides, Morpeth with a particularly young outfit, with both Donnelly and Tait making their débuts.
However, it was Alnwick who looked the more livelier from the off and the home side missed two crucial early penalties, failing to take the lead.
Morpeth then took the initiative with Stu Hills playing at centre crashing through for Phillips to convert.
This made the half-time score 10-0, which was probably more than Morpeth deserved and it certainly was anyone’s game at this stage.
The game certainly burst into life early in the second period with an unconverted Alnwick score to close in on Morpeth.
It was then that man-of-the-match Michael Craigs stamped his imprint onto the game.
The play-anywhere Leeds student went over himself for a try and Phillips added the extras to make it 17-5.
Then scrum-half Cunningham intercepted to race away and score and Morpeth were just about out of sight as Phillips again converted.
Carmichael was next on the score sheet, although never a prolific try scorer, the prop always contributes to open play as he barrelled over, with Phillips once again on the mark.
Yet the best was reserved for last with youngster Tait making a break taken on by Hills before Turner scored to round off a cracking Morpeth score.
While the final score of 39-5 may have flattered Morpeth it was a fine performance by a very inexperienced outfit who face a stern test this Saturday against a Crossleyans side who are performing well in the league.