Happy new year as Morpeth kick off with win

Morpeth 55 Consett 7
Morpeth 55 Consett 7

Morpeth RFC 22-15 Malton & Norton

Morpeth returned to their league programme on Saturday welcoming Malton and Norton to Mitford Road.

The excellent winter weather continued and the ground conditions were perfect.

There was absolutely no reason for this being anything other than attractive game of rugby. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth.In a game littered with mistakes it was a disjointed penalty ridden affair.

The home side in particular fell foul of the whistle culminating in three sin bins with the obvious consequence of having to play the game with 14 players for 30 minutes of game time.

Malton had the first opportunity when from their first incursion into Morpeth’s half they won a penalty on five minutes which was hooked wide.

The next event occurred on 10 minutes when flanker Ian Burnham received the first yellow card following two similar offences.This time the penalty was converted 3-0 Malton.

Then on 15 minutes the home side looked to have got into their stride, from nowhere Dawson managed to rip the ball away when Malton had possession, he quickly transferred the ball to Tait who ran around beneath the posts for a converted try - 7-3 Morpeth.

Then when another lateral back move saw Sam Hornby tackled heavily by two opposing players,it caused him to leave the field to be replaced by Jonny Ward.

Further pressure by the home side saw Ben Hornby convert a penalty to take the score to 10-3.

Then prior to halftime, as Morpeth’s pack turned on the pressure at scrum time, first Dynan with a pick and drive offloaded to Elliott who did excellent work in beating a couple of defenders before sending full back Telford over for an unconverted score, making it 15-3 to Morpeth at halftime.

The second half saw the game degenerate further, first Dynan was yellow carded, he attracted another yellow( automatically a red in the final 10 minutes).

The game continued its disjointed path. That did not detract from the wholehearted effort from both sides and Malton dominated a spell of 10 minutes where they scored a try from an attacking line out and sustained forward pressure for 15-10.

It was back to simple rugby for Morpeth when their reliable scrum dominance forced a 5m scrum and penalty try, making it 22-10.

Malton were not to be denied and forced an unconverted try with the last play of the game for a final score of 22-15.

Another win for Morpeth confirming their position amongst the league leaders, however, it was a victory that brought little in terms of satisfaction.

Inane and sarcastic comments do little to improve relations with officialdom both on and off the field and actually detract from the performance. Easy to comment as an observer and not in the heat of battle.

The opposition awarded Dynan, a stand out player this season, man of the match even though he failed to finish the match.

Man of the match was Steven Long.