IT may have not been in the most spectacular fashion, but Tynedale Raiders battled hard against a stubborn and combative Morpeth Reivers side to clinch a second successive victory.

Conditions played their part with cold showery spells throughout the match following the heavy rain rainfall of the previous few days. However, the pitch held up remarkably well although it did result in challenging circumstances for both sides with numerous handling errors making multi-phase rugby very difficult.

The game kicked off with Tynedale drilling the ball deep into Morpeth territory and then exerting good defensive pressure to prevent the away team from escaping from their own half.

In fact, almost the entire half was played at the Morpeth end of the field and only a number of loose final passes or individual handling errors in contact prevented Tynedale from breaching the defence.

Morpeth were defending gallantly but Tynedale seemed to either choose the wrong final option or lose the ball just when a score was looking likely.

The key point in the match came on 33 minutes when, at a ruck with Tynedale on the attack, a moment of madness from a Morpeth player left Tynedale tighthead prop with the prospect of an emergency trip to the dentist and Morpeth reduced to 14 men for the rest of the match.

After losing Stephenson to injury, fit again player-coach Colin Scullion came into the fray to put in a solid 50 minutes in the front row.

The remainder of the first half remained scoreless despite the continued Raiders pressure and it was almost unbelievable that the sides would turn around at 0-0.

From the restart, Tynedale showed good attacking intent and a nicely weighted cross-field kick from Tom Robson allowed Callum Morell and Sean Abrams to combine to nearly score but for a try-saving tackle from the Morpeth full back.

The game continued almost exclusively in Morpeth territory, but for one excursion into the Tynedale half where a penalty was conceded. Sadly for the away kicker, his strike sailed wide of the posts and still the scoreboard was empty.

The only score of the game came on 54 minutes when Jamie Dixon pounced on a loose clearance to dive over.

Tynedale remained camped out in the Morpeth half for the rest of the game but couldn’t penetrate the defence further due to a valiant defensive display from the 14 men of Morpeth.

The Raiders make the trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday.