Morpeth RUFC made their 2nd trip to Kelleythorpe, their 1st being 3 weeks ago, which lasted 30 minutes before being abandoned following an injury to the referee.
The weather was perfect for rugby, sunny but a little fresh. Morpeth are having a strong season, sitting in joint 4th in the league on 45 points before KO. Driffield were a couple of places behind in 6th on 40. Both teams needed a win to keep their season on track.
Driffield had a few out with injuries and two that were unavailable. Captain Rob Mewburn, brother George, Craig Gray to name a few on the injury front. John Soanes starting on the wing, Simon Rowbottom came in at prop for Blenkinsop. Cullen, Turner and Brankley made up the back row. Robson, Sowersby and Borman kept warm on the bench.
It was Morpeth who made the better start, opening the scoring with a converted try on 10 minutes. Driffield 0 – 7 Morpeth
As seems to be a bit of a trend, that kicked Driffield into gear and they made their way up field, Furbank crossing the try and line Watts adding the extras on 15m. Driffield 7 – 7 Morpeth
The game was becoming open already, and this time it was Morpeth’s chance to attack. They added another try, conversion missed. Driffield 7 – 12 Morpeth
The pendulum swung Driffield’s way from the restart. Good pressure from the forwards with short pick-and-drives, eventually led to James Dinsdale crossing out wide, Watts missed the conversion. HT Driffield 12 – 12 Morpeth.
It was clear that whoever started the second half strongest would be in a great position to take this game. That score didn’t come until 52 minutes, and it was Morpeth who broke the deadlock first. Their winger made a break, beat a couple of Driffield tacklers and crossed the line, conversion missed. Driffield 12 – 17 Morpeth
Driffield reduced Morpeth’s lead with a penalty kick by Watts shortly after. Driffield 15 – 17 Morpeth
Morpeth seemed to find another gear in the next 15 minutes and scored two tries, one converted, to make the score, with only a couple minutes remaining, Driffield 15 – 29 Morpeth
Back again came Driffield, desperate to salvage something out of the game. A strong break from the backs ended with Alex Cullen crossing, Watts converting. Driffield 22 – 29 Morpeth
Driff had worked hard to get back in touch and, with time nearly over, the home crowd were hoping for Driffield to collect the kick-off and look to take the win. Instead, Morpeth collected their own kick-off, a bit of a mix-up in defence and Morpeth had killed the game and taken the win. Driffield 22 – 34 Morpeth.
As usual it was a very entertaining game and either side could have won. However, Morpeth just manage to hold us at bay for long enough. It means we stay 6th in the league and Morpeth move up to 3rd, a couple of points behind the top two.
It’s another derby next up for Driffield, as we travel to neighbours Bridlington for our league fixture that doubles up as the Turnbull Trophy. Hopefully a couple of weeks to let the injuries recover a bit and start the new year off with a bang.
Happy Christmas to you all