Morpeth Rugby Club finish second after winning final league game of season
This was the final league game of the first season since the leagues have been restructured. In many ways it has been a strange campaign for the Mitford Road side. A pre-Christmas where they dominated proceedings, winning some games by a large margin, but in 2023 the side has struggled to ignite.
The team has worked hard and a series of injuries haven’t helped. But there should be no excuses, Penrith, the league champions in waiting, have thoroughly deserved their success and are without doubt are the best team in the league.
The outstanding Morpeth Colts side beat Kelso 31-10 in the Borders Cup Final on Sunday, and there lies the future.
Aspatria took an early advantage with a converted try after nine minutes before Morpeth replied likewise with a typical hard running effort from second row Ben Jackson.
The next score came from the boot of fly half Ben Hornby, who converted a penalty. Hornby’s kicking was an integral part of the win.
He was greatly assisted by his half back partner Jack Elliott, who was outstanding in defence, ripping the ball from the opposition as well as making key tackles.
It was proving a competitive and very even encounter, with Aspatria equalising on 34 minutes with a penalty of their own, bringing the scores level at 10-10. This became the half-time score.
The home side started the second half in the ascendancy and were rewarded with a converted try on 43 minutes.
But Morpeth dug deep. Throughout the season the side has shown good spirit and they were not to be outdone. Prompted by Hornby’s boot, they edged their way back into the game.
A penalty from the fly half followed by a converted try by flanker Ian Greives saw Morpeth take a 17-20 point lead after 66 minutes.
It was a lead they never gave up as Hornby ended the game with two more successful penalties on 70 and 79 minutes respectively.
Final score – 17-24.