Morpeth 21 Old Brodleians 0 North One East
MORPETH returned to winning ways with a convincing victory against the mid-table Halifax-based outfit and it was a win they fully deserved.
It was no surprise that the victory came about with the return from injury and non-availability of number eight Morrison, flanker Defty, Mooney continuing his recovery and returning to his best form, and a cameo performance from new recruit Casimir Gross from Newcastle University.
However, it would be wrong to single out individuals – this was a team performance with the players producing the goods when it mattered.
The home side kicked off against the elements in the first-half with a strong breeze blowing across the excellent Mitford Road surface.
They defended tremendously well in that first half, but in the later stages put pressure on the opposition and Jo Forsythe powered over after a series of Morpeth drives.
Playing out of position at prop-forward, the captain’s belligerent and powerful running with ball in hand was an inspiration to the rest of the team.
This gave the home side a 5-0 lead despite the fact that winger Francis got sin-binned just before the break. Mooney snuffed out any attempt to counter attack by the opposition backs.
The second-half saw replacement Gross coming on, with Mooney moving into the back-row.
A penalty goal from Matt Jinks stretched the lead, then Morpeth upped the pressure even more with a series of attacks by the forwards that resulted in new boy Gross crashing over to score wide out.
Jinks kicked a magnificent conversion to make it 15-0.
Darkness was closing in fast but the gloom didn’t affect the owl-like vision of Jinks as he stepped up to kick two more penalties.
This result was a vital win after the losses sustained following the great start to the season.
If Morpeth can keep people fit and increase availability there is no doubt they are a match for anyone in this league.
And the day was made even better when the Colts beat their Wigton counterparts 19-7.
Chase Evans, Alex Tait and Brent Stewart were their try scorers, with Ollie Tapscott and Steven Parsons each successfully kicking over a conversion.
Club President Mike Brunskill said: “These were excellent performances from both our sides.
“Neither victory was easy by any means. The visiting teams were no pushovers.
“Now we are after an early Christmas present with the first XV beating Percy Park this weekend.”