Morpeth 34 Darlington 0 North One East
MORPETH recorded their second successive bonus-point victory with a hard-fought encounter against a Darlington outfit who looked relegation material.
This victory keeps the young Morpeth side on road for a very respectful league position together with a forthcoming county cup encounter.
Yet this seemed a long way off in a fairly average first-half performance in which Morpeth, despite changes predominately in the backs, were fairly pedestrian and when they were able to put pace on the ball, Darlington struggled to survive and this is exactly what happened in the second half.
The first half ended 6-0 in the home side’s favour with two Phillips penalties, a player who has been very consistent throughout the season.
The second half showed the gulf between the two sides. Firstly Dawson scored after the forwards picked and drove on successive occasions.
Phillips added the points to make it 13-0.
Then the Morpeth forwards caused the referee to award a penalty try after a succession of scrums. That, together with another Phillips conversion, made the score 20-0.
There then ensued the best rugby of the afternoon when a quick tap from Wilkinson saw the fly-half make good ground before passing onto hooker Hill, who fed Phillips, who then passed back for Wilkinson to power over.
Phillps converted 27-0.
The scoring was not complete. Forsythe as ever drove deep into the opposition, Wilkinson took it on, leaving Phillips again to score and add the extras.
This was another good performance, albeit in the second half, by a young and emerging outfit which bodes well for the future. Credit is due to all involved who have overcome some major injuries to key personnel.