Alnwick 7 Morpeth 18 Brett Horse Trophy
MORPETH travelled back down the A1 with the Brett Horse Trophy on Saturday after defeating Alnwick in their last fixture of 2012.
Once again the game attracted a decent crowd and the home side from a lower division made the visitors work hard for their victory.
The Greensfield pitch is unsurprisingly beginning to suffer because of the persistent rain and the conditions dictated that scoring was most likely from close range.
Alnwick began brightly with good possession and steadily made ground. However, the Morpeth defence was more than adequate as was to be the case for most of the game.
With a quarter of an hour gone, Morpeth found themselves in the Alnwick 22.
Alnwick were forced to concede penalties which the away side chose to run until from the back of a ruck, Morpeth scrum-half Robson found a gap and went over for an unconverted try.
The passage of play which followed the restart was to prove the most exciting for Alnwick and their supporters.
A series of penalties and line-outs in the Morpeth 22 saw the hosts come very close to scoring before a knock on by the attacking team. From the resulting scrum, Cuthbert caught a Morpeth defender behind his line.
The Alnwick five metre scrum led to Alexander grounding the ball. However, the referee judged his action to be a double movement.
Just before half-time, Morpeth increased their lead through a well executed rolling maul with Ramsey going over and R Stephenson converting. This made it 12-0 to the visitors at the break.
The changes made at the beginning of the second half resulted in Alnwick playing with much more invention. Ord in particular relished his return to scrum-half.
Ill discipline from both sides marred this half.
Referee Crozier was determined to keep everyone on the pitch in this non-league encounter but even his patience was sorely tried and he was forced to ask Alnwick’s Johnson to take a breather for 10 minutes.
Morpeth scored from the penalty, adding to an earlier one (18-0).
Strang and Davison were now on as replacements and a tired Alnwick team pushed for one final effort.
After prolonged pressure by the forwards in the Morpeth 22, their endeavour paid off when Davison burst through the middle to touch down for a well deserved converted try.
The second half replacements and positional changes saw Alnwick play with greater flair, but they were up against a competent Morpeth side who played effective rugby in the final few minutes to close out the win.
Morpeth’s man-of-the-match, who received the Dave Routledge Trophy, was Robson.