Morpeth 23-15 Huddersfield YMCA
Morpeth returned to winning ways on Saturday with a hard-fought victory against the West Yorkshire outfit who soundly beat them on their home patch earlier in the season.
The over-the-road pitch, with a covering of snow and cleared lines, was a credit to the work and effort of John Dungait’s team, but there was no doubt from the off that conditions were going to play a significant factor.
Morpeth made the worst possible start when, with only five minutes played, a break in the centre saw a run-in try from some 30metres out. The following conversion made the score 7-0 to the visitors.
Immediately Morpeth hit back through a Ben Hornby penalty, 7-3 after eight minutes. The same player was then wide of the mark from a similar position.
It seemed that both sides appeared to play the game in the wrong areas, particularly given the conditions.
However,Morpeth took the lead when, from an excellent attacking line out, centre Robinson showed good strength by bulldozing over. Hornby added the conversion, making the score 10-7 after 28 minutes.
Huddersfield equalised with a penalty of their own to make the scores tied at half-time, 10-10, which just about reflected the territorial possession.
The second half began the same as the first. A missed tackle in the centre saw good hands and an overlap created a try in the corner which gave Huddersfield the lead at 15-10.
The remainder of the match belonged to Morpeth though, and they deserved their victory as they dominated possession.
Hornby got the home side going with a penalty, then missed another long-range effort.
But he managed to compose himself and put Morpeth in front with a further three points as the home pack began to take control.
Morpeth only held a slender 16-15 advantage at this stage, but the score that sealed victory came when Morpeth applied constant pressure through numerous phases, allowing Ward to choose a good angle, beat the remnants of the defence and race over.
Hornby added the conversion,making the final score 23-15.
Michael Craigs was always prominent and effective, matched by Ian Burnham in the back row who was always in the thick of the action.
Outside, Ward was always effective from full back, causing panic in the Huddersfield ranks.
The man-of-the-match award went to Morpeth’s Ian Burnham.