MORPETH RFC U14s saw their County Cup hopes sink in the mud at Corbridge as they slumped to a 20-12 defeat against a powerful and determined Tynedale team.
Despite taking an early lead – after a typical bullocking run from second row Joe Turnbull led to the first try – Morpeth failed to capitalise on their early advantage, pressure and confidence to see Tynedale fight their way back into the match to dominate the latter stages of the first half.
Morpeth forwards were unable to get to grips with an opposition pack who increasingly became stronger as the game wore on and were merciless at the breakdowns, capitalising on some poor rucking, mauling and decision making by the Mitford Road youngsters.
Hopes were temporarily raised for Morpeth as they began to threaten the opposition try line mid-way through the second half with some promising attacks from the ever busy scrum half Will Allen and powerful centre Josh White, who again made some vital tackles in midfield, before he scored a second Morpeth try after a mazy run to the try line.
Fly half Sam Eyres kicked the conversion to secure the extra two points but it was never going to be enough as Morpeth pressed the Tynedale line looking for the elusive points that would get them back into contention.
Prop Jonny Waters impressed with some powerful hits in the loose play to earn a well-deserved Morpeth man of the match award.
Eyes are now on the Northumberland Plate later in the season for the Morpeth youngsters and a possible repeat of last season’s victory over Blyth RFC.