Six of the best for third side

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Morpeth III 6 Norton I 1

After the 2-2 draw against Tynemouth last week, a brighter performance was needed by Morpeth Hockey Club’s men’s third team.

When they arrived at Longhirst for the game on a windy Saturday, they were buoyed by the news that Norton had only arrived with eight men, three short of the 11 that can take to the pitch, and this would allow Morpeth the room needed to ensure a solid performance.

The home side went in front when Ian Foster struck the ball into the bottom left of the goal from a short corner.

This led to some overconfidence by Morpeth and they soon found themselves pegged back by a quick Norton attack. A few more short corners followed, but with the constant Morpeth substitutions no consistent rhythm could be found.

They eventually went 2-1 ahead thanks to an excellent Gareth Mellor strike, much to the relief of skipper Murray, although he still had much to say at half time.

After a rousing team talk, Morpeth once again went on the attack and it was not long before Finlay Pearce found himself in space for a tap in goal.

A solid backline of Murray, Peter Durance, Yuri and senior and junior Pearce put a stop to the visitors’ sporadic attacks.

A crash ball by Chris Jones deflected off the post and Max Renwick was able to pop up at the back post and flick it past the floundering Norton goalkeeper to make the score 4-1.

Soon afterwards, a great run down the right flank by Durance allowed an inch perfect ball to be played to Foster on the edge of the D. He took one step and buried the ball in the bottom corner.

This led to a brief Norton fight back and goalkeeper Luke Dixon was required to keep the ball out of the goal with a good save to his right.

However, this allowed Morpeth to break and following good play by Hugh Robinson and Durance, Foster received the ball in the D and he slotted it home to score his hat-trick and make it 6-1 at full time.