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Fluent Field reclaim League leadership.

Byline: Doug Thomson ,

The only disappointing aspect of this display was that the victory wasn't by a greater margin.

Huddersfield still returned to the top of North II East thanks to a better points difference than Alnwick, who defeated previous leaders Malton and Norton 30-7.

The Lockwood Park side had been held 3-3 at home to Alnwick the week before and needed to respond with a bright performance.

This they did, and after the dull fare on offer seven days previously, when the forwards dominated a dire deadlock, it was a pleasure to see two teams willing to pass the ball and utilise their backs.

While Morpeth, yet to gain a point this season, played their part in an entertaining clash, they never looked like winning it.

And the only time they breached the Huddersfield line, through fly half Matthew Jinks in the 75th minute, was when scrum half Ben Thornton was in the sin bin.

The yellow card for interference was the only blot on a sharp show by Thornton, usually a flanker and the fifth choice at No9 (Damian Clayton and Mark Saltmarsh were unavailable, Steve Rothery and Neil Summers injured).

Midfield partner Jamie Grayshon also caught the eye with some bright link play to complement his try, three conversions and two penalties (from four attempts).

The fly half was involved in the opening touchdown, scored by Michael Murphy after six minutes, but it was lock Richard Hughes who did the bulk of the spadework, catching a clearance kick and sucking in a string of defenders with a powerful run which left space for Grayshon and centre Andy Metcalfe to set up the onrushing full-back.

Grayshon goaled, then added a 20th-minute penalty after Jinks had banged over a long-range 10th-minute three-pointer.

Jinks, who clearly has an accurate left foot, fired a 22nd-minute drop goal, but Huddersfield replied with a second try after 31 minutes.

Winning a scrum against the head set in motion a move which culminated with debutant centre Lee Paxman laying the ball off for Grayshon to ease through on the right and add the goal for a 17-6 interval lead.

Huddersfield bossed the early stages of the second half - Morpeth had prop Dave Dickinson sin-binned after 49 minutes - and it was no surprise when the pressure finally paid off with a third try after 53 minutes.

Winger Tim Taylor, who was always willing to run with the ball, fielded yet another clearance kick and made the hard yards for Metcalfe to finish off.

Jinks scored, and goaled, a scrappy 75th-minute consolation try after Morpeth winger Nick Harper dribbled ahead, but Grayshon had the last word with another penalty.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Oct 11, 2004
Words:443
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