Morpeth 18 Pocklington 16 North One East
MORPETH wrapped up their home league programme with an exceptionally hard-fought victory over their Yorkshire opponents.
Over the two games played against them there has been a total of four points separating the two sides. In both matches the victories could quite easily have gone to Pocklington, however credit to the home side who have continued to perform exceptionally well throughout the year.
It was Pocklington who started off the better, squandering an early chance of three points when a penalty was missed. But that was quickly rectified after 15 minutes (0-3).
Worse was to follow for the home side when another simple penalty was followed by a try under the posts when, for once, Morpeth’s tackling let them badly down. At this point in time the score reflected possession with the visitors leading 13-0.
Then Morpeth got on the scoreboard with a Campbell try as he burrowed over from close range after good pressure. Phillips added the extras.
Yet in a prolonged half, Pocklington increased their lead with a further penalty just before the interval (7-16).
With the breeze in their favour, Morpeth had decent spells of possession in their opponents’ half and Phillips added a further three points to take them within one score of the visitors.
The game then reached an exciting climax – firstly the hosts scored an excellent try emanating from a Cunningham break that produced a number of offloads before the outstretched fingers of number eight Morrison just made it to the line.
Although the conversion was missed, Phillips made amends by kicking over a penalty to take the home side into the lead for the first time in the match.
The second half was even longer than the first and despite Pocklington pressing, Morpeth held out for an excellent win.
There was a large crowd at Mitford Road for this encounter and an brilliant atmosphere in a packed clubhouse welcoming past players to the annual reunion.
Thanks to Rich Mair for his sponsorship, reflecting his own and his family’s heavy involvement in both clubs.
Morpeth are now seventh in the North One East table with 59 points. Their final fixture of the season is away to Malton and Norton on Saturday.