Narrow home defeat for Morpeth

Rugby.

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Morpeth 17-20 Pocklington

This was an exciting and exceptionally close encounter which either side could have won, but ultimately Pock just about deserved the spoils.

Morpeth took the lead almost from the kick-off with a set move in the backs using the blindside winger to allow the prolific Ward to canter over in the corner.

Then, with Morpeth giving up territorial advantage by conceding a string of penalties, Pock took a grip on the game and it was no surprise when they converted a simple penalty, and followed that with a converted try to give them a deserved 10-5 lead.

In this topsy-turvy encounter it was Morpeth who now dominated play. A deliberate knock-on after another Pock line-out went astray led to some desperate defending, and although a Campbell effort was ruled out by the unsighted referee, from the ensuing attacking scrum a penalty try was maybe harshly awarded against the visitors. Hornby, who had erred previously, added the conversion.

Morpeth started on the ascendancy in the second half, but it was Pock who scored when they gained relevant territory and saw a converted try under the posts.

Then Morpeth hit back, when after consistent pick and drives close to the Pock line, Craigs exquisitely chipped through, gathered and scored with some panache. It was just reward for a display of endeavour and no little skill from the back-rower. Hornby’s conversion was wide, making the score 17-17.

Pock then dominated possession, keeping matters tight, and it was no surprise when they took the lead with a penalty under the posts — 20-17.

Hard as they tried Morpeth could not break the stranglehold against a stout defence and 20-17 remained the final score.

Morpeth may rue missed penalty chances, but ultimately Pock just about shaded it. It would seem these two teams are destined to produce extremely close results as history would tend to show.