Morpeth 10 Northern 6 Northern Division, North One East
MORPETH secured a vital league win in an exceptionally close encounter against their near rivals in a dogged encounter where both sides displayed defensive rather than attacking qualities.
To be fair, the match was dominated by the conditions and, with the surface already wet, a lunchtime deluge made it extremely difficult for both sides, as well as the referee who must have found it so tricky to tell the difference between the two sides.
Morpeth kicked off defending the clubhouse end and facing a stiff breeze and were almost immediately put under pressure by Northern who took the lead with an early penalty (0-3).
Morpeth then came back to score the only try of the game.
Fly-half Brown made the initial break which was continued by full-back Hornby which resulted in Northern conceding a penalty from which eventually hooker Menzies burrowed over.
Brown added the conversion with an excellent kick making the score 7-3 to the home side.
Although Northern kicked a penalty they missed a crucial one on the stroke of half-time, to make it 7-6 to Morpeth at the turn-round.
Morpeth started the second half the stronger and Brown increased the lead with a further penalty, making it 10-6 after 55 minutes.
Northern then really took the game to Morpeth, crossing the line twice but being held up on both occasions.
The home side showed excellent spirit, defending heroically and keeping Northern out as the conditions got steadily worse. It was a relieved home side that secured an excellent win and continued their fight away from the relegation zone.