Two-try Balshaw the hero as Sheffield win in style

Sheffield's Martin Balshaw goes between the posts to score a second half try in his 100 game vs Durham City
Sheffield's Martin Balshaw goes between the posts to score a second half try in his 100 game vs Durham City

sheffield began their game with Morpeth well aware that they could ill-afford to take their visitors lightly, after they lost only narrowly to league leaders Wheatley Hills the previous weekend.

But in reality they needn’t have worried, running out comfortable 42-8 victors against the sixth-placed side.

Fly-half Mark Ireland got the ball rolling with a penalty after just four minutes, and later added a superb individual try which he then converted to make the score 10-0 after ten minutes.

Morpeth came back strongly and were rewarded for some positive and aggressive play with a penalty after 19 minutes, but Sheffield were able to restore the status quo just four minutes later when Ireland added a second penalty of his own.

The sides battled on with neither making the game their own, and with both sides making too many mistakes the half ended with the score 13-3.

Sheffield, who were without the injured centre Chris Dale, suffered a further setback when Ireland was forced to leave the field.

Jimmy Pearson, making a return from the USA, was shuffled from full back to fly half, Alex Hill moved from the wing and Danny Williams came on to win his debut cap.

Despite the setback of losing their key man Ireland, Sheffield began the second half the brighter and Alex Hill showed himself to be a capable understudy with a penalty to make it 16-3.

Balshaw added a further try before a memorable moment for debutant Williams, who scored in the left corner.

Gareth Morley added the second try for Sheffield with 28 minutes of the second half gone, and four minutes later Balshaw added his second.

After Tommy Marples was sent to the sin bin, Morpeth scored their only try but, by then, the damage was done.