Morpeth RFC 34-9 West Leeds
On a gloomy Saturday afternoon, punctuated by some heavy rain, Morpeth lightened the atmosphere as they climbed to top spot, albeit, on points difference with four teams all on 33 points.
Its a significant achievement for Carl Hill and the coaching team and one that they should be rightly proud. It is highly likely that the league will be just as tight when it comes to the last month of the season.
Again Morpeth flattered at times but were never in vintage form. They won a lot of ball and edged a forward battle as they secured that all important bonus point.
Morpeth fielded a strong line up, and took the lead on five minutes when, after an excellent attacking line out, they forced a series of attacking 5m scrums resulting in a penalty try when WL repeatedly infringed. 7-0.
WL came right back into the game, with big ball carriers causing the home defence problems. They had territorial advantage and on 12 minutes squandered a penalty chance.
Then Morpeth countered with an excellent score, good hands by the backs saw right wing Jake McKay kick through and chase, WL full back had a clearing kick charged down for Josh Williams to take it on, then when brought down close to the line the flanker had the vision and ability to off load over his right shoulder for McKay to dive over in the corner for an unconverted try. 12-0
WL were not to be denied then replied with a well taken penalty . 12-3.
Morpeth then stormed back with another score after a WL sinbin caused the Yorkshire outfit problems with an attacking scrum from where Number 8 Dynan stormed over, brushing away would be tacklers for an unconverted try on 30 minutes.17-3.
Yet WL were not to be denied and came back into the game with a good amount of pressure which was rewarded with two penalties to make the halftime score 17-9.
The second half belonged to Morpeth whose forwards in particular took hold of the game and with good possession were able to run away from some spirited WL defending.
On 55 minutes a good Elliott sniping run and patient recycling saw skipper Hill burrow over from close range, followed by an excellent Ben Hornby conversion. 24-9
Then on 75 minutes constant home pressure, with Williams to the fore, saw centre Tait crash over wide out. 29-9 Finally Mitford Road were treated to a Ben Hornby virtuoso try, after prop Moody had made inroads in his own half. Hornby took the ball on from 30 metres, sold a dummy then a weave or two before dotting down wide out making the final score 29-9.