Morpeth 38 Gateshead 5 North One East
THIS was another important and very welcome win from the Mitford Road outfit who saw off their Durham opponents, particularly in the second half with a display of open rugby much to the delight of the crowd basking in the March sunshine.
Due to the exceptionally warm weather the grounds are certainly a lot firmer than would have been anticipated and this was a factor in a very open game in which both sides contributed.
Gateshead undoubtedly started off the stronger and deservedly took the early lead with an unconverted try, and it was probably against the run of play that Morpeth went into half-time with a 12-5 lead.
This came about firstly when captain Forsythe drove over, was then driven back, but somehow maintained both the momentum and the ball to make it to the line.
Then after a break by Lynnas, Mooney forced his way over. Jinks made one conversion.
The game then turned with Morpeth applying the pressure and strength to go clear. Defty supplied good hands to enable Bell to score. Then Simms was put clear after good breaks and interplay by both forwards and backs.
Midway through the half, turn-over ball enabled Mooney to race clear to score his second, this was followed by Simms also claiming his brace of tries after good work from Campbell and Nelless.
Jinks converted a couple of these scores and the home side ran out as bonus points winners. However, in this very competitive league relegation and promotion issues will go on to the end and Morpeth will be seeking to pull clear of any trouble when they entertain a fast-improving Northern side this Saturday.