Huddersfield YMCA 16-12 Morpeth RFC
Morpeth lost their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow defeat against a well organised and spirited Huddersfield outfit,who on the day probably just about deserved it, writes Colin Green.
It was a most disjointed game played on an excellent surface but in heavy rain almost throughout.Apart from the first 25 minutes the game never had 30 players on the field.
The first 20 minutes belonged to a confident Morpeth playing with a zest involving both backs and forwards.
It was particularly a dominant pack that had the home side struggling with both Campbell and Sandall making good progress hitting space from recycled possession allowing half backs Elliott and Ben Hornby to control matters.
A little more accuracy near the try line would have resulted in domination turning into points,albeit the Huddersfield defence was outstanding.
Then on 15 minutes Morpeth had a series of attacking 5m scrums, from the first the home side’s prop was sinbinned.Morpeth were then surprisingly penalised from the next scrum, allowing the home side to clear.
It was on 20 minutes that Morpeth took a deserved lead when excellent handling on the short side saw Tait interchanging with Sam Hornby sending the wing clear and still with a lot to do he just made the touchdown with his brother Ben converting.
Then further drama followed when YM’s replacement prop was red carded on 25 minutes for leading with an elbow. This incident seemed to galvanize the home side, having the opposite effect on Morpeth.
A penalty for Huddersfield before half time made the score 7-3, where in reality Morpeth should have been well ahead.
The second half began with a Huddersfield converted try due lack of concentration by a stunned Morpeth defence.
Huddersfield were now playing with momentum and purpose with Morpeth lacking that forward dominance.Their strong midfield was becoming a massive influence as their battling forwards made light of being a man down.
A further Huddersfield penalty made the score 13-7 in their favour.
Morpeth became increasingly frustrated with sinbins of Dawson and Hill only adding to their frustration.
Then as the game moved into the final 10 minutes Ben Hornby with an excellent cross kick allowed his brother Sam to put centre Tait over in the corner for 13-12.
Huddersfield had the final say when an excellent drop goal which pulled them clear before the final whistle was heard.
Man of the match Carl Campbell.