MORPETH underlined their promotion credentials with a fairly comfortable 14-42 win over Connections Recruitment-sponsored Vagabonds at Ballafletcher in RFUW Championship North Division Two on Saturday.
Georgina Keyte opened up the scoring for Morpeth in the 11th minute, when she ran back a clearance kick which failed to find touch.
Five minutes later Diane Purvis doubled Morpeth’s lead with a long-range run in after she got outside Vagabonds’ backline.
More or less from the restart Morpeth were in again and Vagas looked to be in a spot of trouble. Rachel Beckley lost out in a scrap for the ball on the floor and Kate Hall sneaked past for a score out wide, which was converted by Rachel Best to give the visitors a 17-0 lead.
Vagas struggled to get first phase ball as the Morpeth pack started to dominate the set scrummage.
The lack of clean ball frustrated Vagabonds all afternoon and gave Morpeth the lion’s share of the chances. In the 28th minute they were in again.
This time Vagas coughed up possession just outside their own 22. Morpeth quickly spun in right where a four on two overlap emerged and Rachel Best picked up the try.
Just before half-time, Vagabonds started to stage a mini revival.
Fran Hunt finally got some ball and made inroads into the Morpeth 22. With the defence stretched, Rachel Beckley broke over the line to leave it 22-5 at the interval. The resurgence continued into the second half when Beckley and Fran Hunt combined for a try. Hunt crashed through the middle of the Morpeth backline and the recycled ball was moved to Beckley on the left wing.
As the move broke down, Morpeth were awarded a scrum. Beckley was off the field receiving treatment so Hunt, who had replaced her at scrum-half, charged down the Morpeth box kick and touched it down for the try and a 22-10 scoreline.
The Manx side’s renaissance was short lived, however, as Jenny Hull and Heather Sherriff both crossed for tries in quick succession as Morpeth stamped their authority on the game.
Vagas did bag another score late in the game when Beckley hovered up a loose ball from a Morpeth scrum before sending Fran Hunt clear on the left to make it 32-15.
The Northumberland side had the final say though as both Georgina Keyte and Elizabeth Sevvers added tries to put the result well beyond Darrin Cook’s team.