Morpeth travelled to the North Yorkshire in good heart buoyed by their good start to the season against a Guisborough outfit who like Morpeth had won promotion last season.
The previous clashes between the two clubs had been close encounters and today proved equally tight with both sides having opportunities but the home side eventually ran out winners, probably deservedly so ,but only just, with Morpeth undecided whether a bonus point was gained or a potential away win lost.
Morpeth kicked off towards the clubhouse against a slope and really took the game to Guisborough with backs and forwards combining creating pressure in the home ranks.
After 15 minutes Thornton who ran strongly throughout was denied at the line after a weaving break. Then Ball converted a penalty to deservedly reward Morpeth with a 3-0 lead.
Morpeth then lost full back Phillips, which after a reshuffle allowed Calder to make a very promising debut on the wing,defending with total commitment.
Morpeth dominated the early exchanges and the 3 point lead was scant reward for the pressure they caused to the home side,yet this pressure counted for nothing as Guisborough, with a foray into the Morpeth scored a converted try after 30 minutes when sloppy defense saw a first up tackle missed for fly half Will Muir to score between the sticks.
This brought the home side to life when they doubled their lead when again soft defending allowed Guisborough to power over for another converted try just before the interval,albeit Morpeth may have had claims for a penalty in the build up to the score.
14-3 at half time .
The second half ,albeit littered with errors from both sides ,nonetheless was exciting.
Guisborough initially dominating proceedings but Morpeth held firm ,then lost Dawson a significant blow to the line out, then came back with 2 excellent Ball penalties.
Then game had 2 turning points when Morpeth failed to score from a short range penalty ,where they seemed unsure of what was the best course of action ,and then another Thornton break which was held up on the line much to do with good Guisborough defending.
In the end Guisborough dominated possession to see out the game and Morpeth secured a bonus point.
It was an “ok “performance from Morpeth with a predictability around the base of scrum and breakdown which was easily solved by a home defense.The scrum dominated but not to an extent to hurt Guisborough and a vulnerability to defend consistently well proved to be a downfall.