Plenty of tries, but Morpeth lose out to Middlesbrough

For the second consecutive match, Morpeth ended the game on the wrong side of what was a high scoring encounter.
The latest report from Morpeth Rugby Club.The latest report from Morpeth Rugby Club.
The latest report from Morpeth Rugby Club.

Before the home fixture against Middlesbrough, the club hosted the annual Past Players Lunch. It produced an excellent attendance, thanks in no small way to the efforts of Paul Pooch Thornton.

The game started in a very hectic fashion, with Morpeth looking to open out and give themselves the first score – but a misplaced pass saw a Boro forward steal possession, race away and touch down for a converted try with only two minutes on the clock.

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Yet back came the home side with a score of their own when former skipper Carl Hill was able to dot down for an impressive effort (5-7).

But Morpeth became the architects of their own downfall when a missed penalty kick to touch allowed the pacey Boro backs to launch a counter attack to which the home side had no answer.

It was the visitors whose midfield were causing significant problems that pulled ahead into an impressive lead before half time, with two further efforts that gave them a 5-21 advantage at the interval.

Worse was to follow when home flanker Alex Thompson had to leave the field, with Michael Craigs coming on as a replacement.

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Despite the disruption, Morpeth took hold of the game in the initial phases of the second period. Young winger Nathan Arkle finished off with a brace when the ball was moved wide.

Then McKay, who generally had an off day with the boot, converted a penalty to bring the home side right back into the game. Full back Smith continued the comeback when he finished off another good move.

But it was not to be as Morpeth were then denied a possible score when flanker Williams thought he had made the tryline with another effort.

Boro rightly went on to seal the game, as their enterprising style of play was rewarded with converted tries in the 73rd and 78th minutes.

These efforts came before Craigs gave Morpeth some consolation with the final try almost on full time to make the final score 28-38.

Scoops Man of the Match: Chris Johnstone.