Morpeth 36-0 Durham City
Morpeth got back to winning ways with an important and significant bonus point win against a Durham side who may consider themselves unfortunate to lose by such a margin.
In terms of possession and territory there was very little between the two sides. That said Morpeth came out on top due to being better at two key areas, namely finishing and defence.
It is notable that two Morpeth tries came by way of interceptions and another from an opposition fly hack, that could have gone anywhere.
That takes nothing away from the fact the best side won,but it was not Morpeth’s best display.
Durham dominated the early play but in a rare sortie into Durham’s half ,a stray fly hack landed in the arms of left wing Flook who gratefully received the ball and ran 30 metres to score.
Durham continued to dominate in terms of territory but Morpeth’s defence was both organised and tenacious.A lofted high ball was expertly taken by Carmichael,whose work rate and contribution was significant throughout,he offloaded to Elliott ,who made a piercing run ,to send Ward over for the first of his three tries. Hornby converted to make the score 12-0
The home side then dug deep to keep Durham out, as half time approached, as a series of attacking lineouts threatened Morpeth’s try line.
The second half started with Durham again on the attack in the first 10 minutes before the home side turned the screw.A series of attacking scrums saw both Elliott and Craigs both claim the try ! Hornby converting.
Then Ward with the first of his interceptions raced over from 40 metres.By this time Morpeth were now dominant and excellent handling by backs and forwards saw sub and former colt Miles Gavaghan race clear to touch down.
Finally Ward again with another interception this time running some 70m to touch down for Hornby to complete the scoring with the conversion.
Not a classic win, but a bonus point victory made it a fitting celebration to mark the 70 birthday of the truly unique and outstandingly generous Dr Bruce Gilmur !