Team Northumbria 19 Morpeth 41 North One East
THIS was a comfortable win for a Morpeth side who played some controlled and attractive rugby, albeit against the league’s basement side who never gave up.
It was a wind-blown Bullocksteads that welcomed the teams into the first league game of 2012.
Morpeth welcomed back Defty, after injury, to the back-row in a side which was disappointing in the previous week’s lacklustre display against Alnwick.
Morpeth kicked off with the benefit of the strong wind and possibly scored their best try of the season after 12 minutes.
It was turn-over ball that allowed Bell to pick up and make significant in-roads from his own 22.
There then followed some passing between Mooney, Phillips, then Jinks dotted down at the posts to then convert for a seven-point lead thanks to an 80 metre epic try.
Jinks then kicked a penalty to make it 10-0 before a Forsythe charge-down allowed further pressure with Mutch going over again, converted by Jinks to make the score 17-0.
Things just got better with the effervescent Hornby picking up a loose ball to make it 22-0.
He then went to fly-half with Mutch injured. This did add more problems for the home side as second-row Armstrong went over to increase the lead and get into bonus-point country.
There was some soft tackling that allowed the home side to score to make it 27-5 at half-time.
Against the elements in the second-half, Morpeth played possession rugby. Jinks, at nine, allowed Hornby to control the game, bringing forwards on and also causing his mother some consternation as she suffered an unfortunate fall celebrating her son’s second try.
Luckily, loving husband and devoted dad Rick was at hand and able to administer first aid at the scene.
Prior to this, winger Lynnas scored after Morpeth pressure and a threatening run from Allen.
This score was converted by Jinks.
After this, Morpeth took their foot off the accelerator as, to their credit, Team Northumbria came back with two late scores to make the final score 41-19.
It was unfortunate that skipper Forsythe injured his ribs during the game, however, it gave Duggan a chance to make an impact in his first game of the season.
Onwards and upwards, on Saturday Morpeth are at home to Malton and Norton, who themselves beat league leaders Billingham.