Morpeth 43 Novos 5 Durham and Northumberland, Division One
Morpeth returned to winning ways with a comfortable bonus-point victory against a spirited Novos outfit, a win that cements their promotion push on a glorious afternoon at Mitford Road.
The win was based on a good first-half display where the match was effectively won, or, from a Novos point of view, lost.
The game had an unusual opening, when from the kick-off a Novos player was sin binned.
Strangely, rather than go for the three points on offer and particularly as the kick for touch was from centre-field, Morpeth acted in an enterprising manner, opting to kick for the corner, hoping to score from an attacking line-out, however, this ambition was thwarted by a poor kick.
This was just a small frustration when, on five minutes, Birch broke through the initial defence, allowing the backs to make good ground for Denton to drive over with Phillips converting.
Following further Morpeth pressure and from an attacking ruck, Denton, showing great skill and awareness, picked and went, carrying over and touching down with the ball secured one-handed to make it12-0 to the home side.
Then Thornton, restored to the centre role, broke through some weak tackling to touch down for the home side to increase their lead to 17-0.
Morpeth started to play some really good rugby, with Brown and Thornton proving to be a constant thorn in the flesh of the Novos defence.
Michie took advantage of one of these piercing runs with another rumbling try to take the score to 22-0.
Morpeth ended the half with another sizzling Brown break, ended with Manley racing over in the corner to make the half-time score 29-0.
Brown, now taking over the kicking duties, converted from the touch-line.
The second half proved slightly disappointing from the high standards of the first, however, due credit to Novos who not only scored a try of their own but came back strongly with great spirit.
Nevertheless, Thornton was not to be denied with two further tries, the first after a strong Dawson run, the second an interception, both tries being converted by Brown, making the final score 43-5.