Late rally not enough for Morpeth

Morpeth 13 Cleckheaton 17 North One East

IN a hard-fought game, Morpeth just lost this encounter with the West Yorkshire outfit in a game that could easily have gone either way – with maybe a draw being a fairer result.

Morpeth made a few changes, with captain Forsythe being unavailable, Bell moving into the second row and Millar in at number eight. In addition, Mooney moved from the centre to flanker.

The game kicked off in near-perfect conditions with a strong breeze blowing towards the clubhouse.

Playing against the elements in the first half, Morpeth took the early initiative, with good pressure forcing Cleckheaton to concede a penalty on five minutes, which Jinks pulled wide.

After that chance, the match was fairly even until the 20-minute mark. A rolling maul from an attacking line-out saw the visitors go over for an unconverted try.

Almost immediately, Morpeth hit back with an attacking move involving both backs and forwards, which saw Jinks convert a penalty to make it 5-3.

There then followed a crucial part of the game when a converted try on the stroke of half-time put the Yorkshiremen 12-3 in front.

The second half started badly for Morpeth, with a calculated chip to the corner collected by the left-wing, who raced over to make it 17-3 with 30 minutes left to play.

Morpeth then got a grip on the game, kicking well into opposition territory and creating pressure of their own. A score seemed inevitable. It came via a Jinks penalty, then a Mooney try and conversion and, with 10 minutes left to play, it was anybody’s game.

Cleckheaton ensured clean possession and kept the ball away from a Morpeth side who were building momentum and, despite frantic efforts at the death, the home side were unable to take anything other than a bonus point from the game.

Next week sees another home fixture in the form of Durham City. Kick-off is 3pm.