Morpeth 7 Rochdale 32 North One East
MORPETH returned to Mitford Road following their close defeat against Malton when they hosted Rochdale and were beaten by the better side on the day.
They were without some key forwards, a fact that was to prove crucial as the away team took all the points in an excellent display of open and entertaining rugby.
Rochdale dominated possession, putting the home side under significant pressure at both line-out and scrum.
It was no surprise that the visitors took the lead with a simple penalty after 15 minutes.
However, the game was effectively won and lost in the remaining minutes of the half.
Firstly, a try from a storming individual try from the second row leaving would be tacklers in his wake.
A further penalty try after significant pressure following the sin-binning of Stephenson left the home side with a mountain to climb.
The home side were facing a 22-point of deficit at the interval.
This lead was further increased with an unconverted try.
The second half showed good spirit from the home side, with Armstrong and Defty to the fore and they came back at Rochdale and were rewarded with an Armstrong try from a short penalty, duly converted by Mullins.
Yet, it was only right and proper that Rochdale finished the scoring with a further penalty.
The away side really looked the part on the evidence of this display.