Morpeth RFC 36-12 Huddersfield YM
This game was played in really difficult conditions with an exceptionally strong wind blowing almost directly down the pitch. It was also one of those strange games where each side played their best rugby against the elements.
It is correct to say in many instances handling can be easier against the wind, it is also true to say that there also instances when putting a boot through the ball is the obvious and most effective use of a strong wind.
But this must be put into perspective for both sides produced an outstanding encounter, with Morpeth running out as convincing winners thanks in no small part to a simply stunning second half performance.
YM played against the wind in the first half and took the game to the home side, retaining possession and posing a threat in the centre with Stead particularly dangerous.
It was against the run of play that Hornby on 20 minutes had the first opportunity, which was unsuccessful, with a long range penalty.
It was no surprise when YM made the first breakthrough on 25 minutes when Stead agin found both space and also the power to make the initial threat which was eventually scored wide out. 5-0.
Then on 32 minutes an excellent Hornby break,just over halfway ,getting over the gain line and then offloading to find Dynan,as he has been all season, picking up a line, carrying a threat to power over by the posts for Hornby to convert. 7-5.
Hornby was on the mark on 38 minutes with a penalty after pressure from an attacking scrum. 10-5.
Morpeth were struggling to contain YM who continued to dominate possession. The first half went on, and on, well over 50 minutes, but they were not helped by ill discipline resulting in two yellow cards.
The half ended with a super YM score, after retaining possession between forwards and backs. A really good conversion against the elements followed, making the half time score 12-10 to Huddersfield.
The second half started with a good Telford break lighting up the proceedings and giving the home side momentum for a superb 40 minutes.
They regained the lead with patience as they recycled possession, skipper Hill excellent throughout, leading the fray,before the returning Elliott performed a wrap around for Dynan again to thunder over by the posts for Hornby to convert .17-12 to Morpeth.
The home side were on a roll, Ward and Telford, combined down the right wing, for Ward eventually to go over wide out.22-12.
Second row Cole Wilson made a 30 yard break, through an outrageous dummy, as Long, Dawson and Sandall all made line breaking inroads, backed up by a real grafting performance by Craigs.
Fittingly Dawson, a truly consistent performer, got the next try after more recycled patience, another Elliott dart, before Dawson crashed over. Hornby struck a superb conversion against the wind.29-12.
This was a Morpeth side at its very best, totally dominant in all phases and they rounded it off with another high quality score as Jake Jardine made a 40 yard break before passing inside to the ebullient Dynan to score at the posts.
This brought a hat trick of tries for the back rower and Hornby rounded it off with another conversion.
Man of the match - Matt Dawson