MORPETH 8ALNWICK RFC 17September 2019. Newly promoted Morpeth thrash their local rivals 5-32 at Greensfield. Fast forward to last Saturday’s return fixture at Mitford road and both teams found themselves struggling at the bottom of the North Premier league with only Ilkley below them.
Points gained would be vital. Before the game, Alnwick appeared to have the momentum having beaten high ranking Blaydon the previous week whilst Morpeth had been beaten at Blackburn. However, this was a local derby, much was at stake.
Alnwick began positively with a half break by the forceful Young, the move being halted by a forward pass. In the first ten minutes Alnwick signalled their intent to play expansive rugby when the opportunity arose. Moralee at scrum half is always on the lookout to take a quick penalty and his break followed, by a pass to Addison, saw the wing kick ahead and earn a lineout near the Morpeth line. Morpeth may have just had the edge in the scrum but Alnwick forwards were proving a handful in the loose and from the resulting lineout they forced a pushover try for Hamish Burn, converted by Callum Burn. 0-7
In general, Alnwick have reduced their penalty count this season but an off-side gave Morpeth the chance of three points which they gratefully accepted. 3-7. The home side back row, Craigs in particular, were at this stage forcing Alnwick forwards to dig deep in defence, but they held firm. There followed a period of untidy play, Jonny Burn uncharacteristically dropping the ball twice, Ellis stripped of the ball in mid-field for the visitors whilst the home side contributed to a litany of mistakes themselves. Alnwick were the first to resume normal service with an extremely patient build up going through a number of phases to bring them to within a metre of the Morpeth try line before an unfortunate knock on prevented them extending their lead before the half time whistle. 3-7
Alnwick captain Hamish Burn sustained an injury to his jaw, Cowan replacing him as hooker. Two very different players but Cowan brought a new dimension to the game which caused the home side some problems. A long pass by Callum Burn was intercepted taking Morpeth to the 10m Alnwick line and
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