Morpeth 17 Sheffield 12 North One East
MORPETH continued their winning ways with a hard-fought victory against an enterprising Sheffield outfit.
It was a mild afternoon with the match kicking off in glorious autumnal sunshine – the Grange Road ground looking at its best.
The match quickly developed a pattern with the home side dominating in the scrum, yet Sheffield showed up well when the game opened out and this pattern was underlined when the visitors took the lead after 10 minutes.
A poor kick and chase gave the away backs the chance to produce an excellent counter-attack and score. A successful conversion made it 0-7.
Jinks was then just wide with a penalty chance before Sheffield increased their lead when strong running from the backs through gaps in the Morpeth defence led to an unconverted try after 30 minutes (0-12).
As half-time approached, the home side put considerable pressure on the visitors’ scrum and although penalties were on offer, they were snubbed in pursuit of tries which did not materialise.
Forsythe, who was outstanding throughout, was unable to ground the ball to the referee’s satisfaction having crossed the line.
Morpeth started the second half with a great deal to do, but after 48 minutes, more forward dominance allowed man-of-the-match Forsythe to burrow over.
Seven minutes later, he was there again to finish off a fine try that began with a 50-metre Jinks break and was followed by a Hornby pick and go. Jinks converted both tries to put Morpeth 14-12 ahead.
The lead was further increased to five points with a well-struck penalty to seal a victory that was hard won and will be much needed, as this league campaign will follow the rest in recent years with every team capable of beating each other on any given Saturday.
Morpeth are up to sixth and they continue their league programme with another home fixture against Middlesbrough on Saturday. Kick-off at Mitford Road is 3pm.
• The club’s other senior teams did not fare so well as the Reivers lost 19-33 at home to Billingham II and the Edwardians were defeated 30-12 at Westoe III.