1st XV won 20 – 16 at home to Morpeth. Match report thanks to Walter Ritchie:
In quite appalling conditions with snow then rain falling on a very wet pitch both teams have to be congratulated on producing such a great game of rugby with 5 tries being scored.
Northern, with only one change (an all-time record!) from the starting team which won at Alnwick, club captain Edd Cawthorn replacing Jamie Powell, who was on duty at the RV,I were soon on the attack and from a well-controlled line catch and drive Laurie Troke scored. Northern messed up the restart, were penalised, and Morpeth kicked a penalty. Northern were soon to repeat their excellent line out control and Ed Kell scored out wide. Sadly Donal Collins was unable to convert but later in the game was able to show his value to the team with long touch finders from penalties. Morpeth came more into the game, kicked a penalty either side of Northern’s trys and then a complete mix up in defence allowed Morpeth to go into the lead with a try very much against the run of play. Northern's pack demonstrated their handling skills and created on opportunity for Paddy Harper to give a pass to Alex Clark which opened the defence and a try was scored which Collins improved for Northern to lead 17 -11 at half time.
Due to the conditions half time was shortened and Northern went further ahead with a Collins penalty in near blizzard conditions .Now 2 scores ahead, Northern's intensity slightly dropped being disrupted with injuries to Kell and Henderson and Morpeth took advantage with good handling scoring a try which they failed to improve. Now with their bit between their teeth Morpeth probed and probed but great Northern defence kept them at bay. Northern tackled anything that moved and were rewarded with a well-deserved win to move them a little further from the drop zone at the half point of theseason with wins against all of our local rivals giving us bragging rights for the present.
Next Saturday we travel to Dinnington and if you wish to skip Xmas shopping what better way to spend a Saturday and we hope that Santa is providing his Fortnum and Mason fare!!
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