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Cup final motivates relegated Morpeth; REGIONAL RUGBY.

MORPETH are hoping Northumberland County Cup glory can make up for relegation as they prepare for tomorrow's final against Tynedale Raiders at Percy Park.

Last weekend's 48-0 loss against Wheatley Hills confirmed Morpeth's demotion from North One East, club president John Price saying: "The County Cup is still important.

"We will take what we have to take next season, but for the time being we have a cup final to look forward to and ilverware to play for.

"It gives our younger players something to aspire to and aim for, and you want to play for trophies.

"That is how we look at it, even though it can get in the way of the league programme when you have Wednesday night cup games and important league matches either side.

"It has been a struggle in that sense, but we at the club think it is important and it gives us a focus."

Morpeth's preparations for tomorrow's 2pm kick-off have also been boosted by a PS50,000 Sport England grant for new floodlights.

Price added: "They will now be installed over the summer, and that is one of the things which might encourage and enthuse the players to come down.

"We will be reviewing our playing side of things, and we are putting plans together on that.

"We would like to bounce straight back up, but at the end of next season there is a review of the league structures and things might work out our way anyway.

"Our Stags won the Fourth Teams Cup last weekend by beating Gosforth Falcon.

"Hopefully, the first-team can follow suit."

On the day they give up the County Cup they have held for the past three years, Percy Park travel to title hopefuls Huddersfield knowing only a win can stop them from being relegated out of National Three North.

Blaydon have a second attempt at playing their postponed National One tie at Loughborough University.

Darlington Mowden Park's National Two North promotion push has them travelling to Shef-field Tigers the day after England Counties lock Pierce Phillips con-firmed his summer move to Championship side Jersey.

Whitley Bay Rockliff host Sunderland with both sides going for promotion out of Durham and Northumberland Two, Westoe hosting West Hartlepool in the semi-finals of the Durham County Cup with Newton Aycliffe having already beaten Washington 54-17 in Wednesday's Plate final.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2014
Words:391
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