County cup win as Morpeth open competitive season

Morpeth RFC kicked off their competitive season with a county cup tie against close rivals Northern in a game sponsored by Taylor Wimpey.

There was a good crowd at Mitford Road to greet the sides in late summer sunshine and it was the home side who showed early dominance with some enterprising play which was rewarded when a strong Craigs run saw left wing Ball with some work to do to squeeze over in the corner.

Morpeth dominated first half possession, running through the phases with backs and forwards combining to entertain but not adding to their lead.

Northern then came back into the game with a forceful run by their right wing who showed a clean pair of heels as he raced over for an unconverted score.

Morpeth came back strongly and Brown brought the home side back into the lead following an easy penalty chance to make it 8-5 to the home side.

Northern then had the opportunity to equalise on the stroke of half-time with an easy penalty which was pushed wide.

Shortly into the second period a Ben Turner break allowed full-back Brown to breach the line and touch down for another unconverted score.

Halfway into the half, with Morpeth attacking deep into Northern’s 22, their fly-half intercepted and ran into Morpeth’s 22 only to be held up.

Turner, whose all round footballing skills were apparent throughout, was the pick of the performers for the home side with Carmichael making a welcome return to form and fitness with a more than positive contribution.

Morpeth won the game emphatically with a further Brown try after good work from Manley, then Lynn with an opportunist close range effort added to the score with Brown adding the conversion.

Northern scored a consolation try at the death to make the final score 25-10.

A good performance by Morpeth with lessons to be learned in ensuring their possession becomes effective in terms of points and the fact that Northern were not league trailblazers last year.

Morpeth open their league campaign at home against Driffield on Saturday, September 5.