Morpeth lose and leave Billingham empty-handed
BILLINGHAM 33MORPETH RFC 10Morpeth made the relatively short trip south to Teeside to take on current league leaders Billingham in what proved to be an intriguing encounter. The match was played on their modern artificial surface which matched impressive surroundings.
Morpeth travelled with a much changed team that saw them narrowly defeat Wirral the previous Saturday.
It only took five minutes for the league leaders to get into their stride for the opening score, unconverted for 5-0
Further pressure was to follow and it wasn't a surprise when Billingham increased their lead, with a rather fortunate score on 13 minutes. Morpeth winning an attacking Billingham lineout that bounced awkwardly for the home side to pounce upon and touch down for a converted try, 12-0
The game took a significant turn when on 20 minutes Billingham lost their second row who was red carded for a high tackle forcing the Teesiders to play with 14 players for the remainder of the match. Ben Hornby converted the resulting penalty, 12-3.
The loss of a player did not prevent Billingham from dominating proceedings. Time after time fly half Peter Evans was able to push Morpeth back into the corners with a cultured kicking game.A further converted try came to the home side from an attacking line out after 25 minutes, making it 19-3.
They increased their lead on 35 minutes when from another attacking position Morpeth were caught napping when a quickly taken penalty resulted in another converted try, making it 26-3 at half-time.
The second half began badly for Morpeth when the home side increased their lead following a missed tackle in the centre that saw Billingham go over for another converted try for 33-3.
Morpeth then enjoyed their best spell playing in and around the opposition 22 area without having a cutting edge and then, when penalised, it was that man Evans who pushed them back with a relieving kick.
But Morpeth were not to be denied and the strong running centre Bentley Brown crashed over on 75 minutes for Hornby to convert to make the final score 33-10.