Morpeth RFC 10-34 Alnwick RFC
Alnwick deservedly won this match and with it clinched the league title and promotion.
This was a great day at Mitford Road, a bumper crowd bathed in late spring sunshine and to crown it all a match where the visitors needed a point to secure promotion.
The result was never really in doubt from the kick off. Morpeth were hesitant and the ball was sent wide and although Ward went for the interception, it was adjudged to be a deliberate knock on.
Three points ensued from the resulting penalty by number 8 Bird and that lead never looked like changing as Alnwick, bright and threatening, outplayed the home side.
They increased their lead on 20 minutes when turn over ball in midfield saw the outstanding Moralee, spotting the space available, kick ahead. Further good handling saw Alnwick go over in the corner. Bird added the extras with a superb conversion from wide out.
Ben Hornby reduced the arrears on 25 minutes when first Ben Sandal made inroads followed by Craigs, who was a constant threat throughout.
At no time in the first half were the home side able to gain a foothold and put Alnwick under pressure and they trailed 3-10.
Bird was again on the mark before half-time as Alnwick increased their lead to 3-13.
The second half saw the game open out. Morpeth suffered a sin binning through ill discipline and Bird further increased the lead with a close range penalty.
Then further converted tries saw the visitors put the game out of sight, despite some excellent home defending. Liam Allen and Alex Tait each made try-saving tackles.
Morpeth applied pressure late on and Craigs got a deserved score before the final whistle.
Perhaps not the home side’s best performance of the season but that shouldn’t hide an excellent term and credit to all involved.
Morpeth man-of-the-match was Mike Craigs.