Morpeth Colts 53 Percy Park Colts 14 County Cup Quarter Finals
FROM the outset, Morpeth’s forwards provided the solid platform for the backs to make the scything runs through the Park defence.
The forward dominance released the backs into the opposition’s 22 after three minutes and the ball was worked to McKay on the wing to score an unconverted try in the corner.
The Mitford Road youngsters were on fire and continued to put pressure on the visitors. The forwards worked hard to look after the ball and the backs displayed good handling skills.
On 11 minutes, full-back Jonas picked a peach of a line to score just to the right of the posts. This time fly-half Brown made no mistake to make it 12-0 to the hosts.
From the restart Park never got a hand on the ball, centre Bradley sniffed a gap, showed a dummy and darted through it, only to be held up deep in the Park 22.
He off-loaded to Brown who mesmerised the defence with feet that would score a perfect 10 on Strictly before touching down. He then kicked the conversion.
This seemed to galvanise Percy Park and they started to exert some pressure of their own, but the hosts held firm with some tenacious defence and after getting the ball back, it was kicked deep into the away side’s half.
The chase was on and it was Morpeth who got to the ball first. With the back row of Aynsley, Denton and Bullock in close support, a lovely off-load to Bullock on the hoof saw him drive to the line and stretch to touch down for a try – the extras were added to make it 26-0 after 20 minutes.
Percy Park came flying out from the restart and put pressure on straight away, but again they were met with a resolute defence and found no way through.
Morpeth were now back on the attack and after some effective drives, Denton took it on, making the hard yards, then offloaded to McKay who ran in to score. The conversion was missed.
The visitors had the final say in the half, with a fine worked try under the posts on 35 minutes, making the half time score 31-7.
Some changes were made at half-time, with Trundley coming on for McKay and Thompson on for Bradley in the centres.
The home side got the second half under way and quickly found themselves under pressure, with Park attacking deep into the home 22. They worked tirelessly round the fringes and got the score their hard work deserved with a converted try.
Yilmaz now came on for Metcalfe at tighthead, Henderson went to loosehead for Wales and Cartwright replaced Bullock in the back row.
Morpeth started to re-assert themselves again and pushed into the away side’s half. A penalty was awarded against Park for offside and Brown put the ball into touch five metres out.
Ward won the line-out ball and off-loaded to Rank who darted for the line, diving over in the corner to score (36-14).
It took just another five minutes for the hosts to increase their points tally. The forwards yet again kept the ball and sucked the defence in before the backs spun the ball out to Rees on the wing to run in and score an unconverted try in the corner.
Percy Park continued to compete and Morpeth had to work hard to get back into an attacking position, which they did through a fine run down the wing by Trundley, who was tackled into touch just outside the Park 22.
The home pack turned the ball over at the line-out and the ball was spun out to Brown, who again slipped through a gap and somehow ghosted through the visitors’ defence to score under the posts. He added the extras to make it 48-14 after 65 minutes.
Brown completed his hat-trick on 70 minutes. Following a fine line by Jonas, Brown was in support, but the offload was almost intercepted by the Park centre.
However, luck was not with them this day as the ball was knocked on and Brown caught it above his head before outpacing the defence and scoring in the corner.