Interceptions are key in Morpeth defeat
Morpeth 15-23 Percy Park
Morpeth returned to league duties with the return fixture against close rivals Percy Park.
One look at the current league positions show you the highly competitive nature of North East 1 .A match won,and depending on other results any one of 6 teams could find themselves in a potential promotion situation,similarly a loss can involve a relegation issue.
In many instances promotion or relegation in this environment comes down to individuals committing fully to the cause ,both in terms of training and travelling.
You could not have predicted the 80 or so minutes of this particular encounter,high on excitement,yet poor on quality,neither side playing to their full potential,but ultimately Park deservedly took the very important points and Morpeth came away with absolutely nothing.
The first 40 minutes saw Park taking control of the game securing both possession and territory.They took a 3 point lead after 10 minutes with a penalty and although Hornby missed a similar opportunity for Morpeth Park were in the ascendancy.
A missed tackle in midfield saw Park score their first try and increased their lead when from an excellent attacking lineout and sniping run Park were over again,giving them a deserved 13-0 lead on 13 minutes.
Apart from a few storming Michael Craigs runs Morpeth were offering little,but that all changed when a Flook kick ahead was caught by Ward who skated over from 22 metres. 13-5 at halftime.
The second half saw Morpeth taking the game to the opposition,strong forward pressure with Moody,Hill and Campbell to the fore saw Park concede a penalty try making the score 13-12 still with 20 minutes to play.
Then a strange incident occurred whereby two Morpeth players were yellow carded for a late tackle and “afters” and a Park player red carded, sent off for punching.Morpeth were awarded the penalty which Wall slotted over ,Morpeth then leading 15-13.
The game then was won and lost by way of interceptions, firstly Park applying pressure in the home 22 saw Ward intercept and with a clear field in front of him was pulled up for offside,in all likelihood it was a try under the posts,however, Park converted the penalty for 16-15.
Back came Morpeth, pressing close to Park’s line, the final potential scoring pass intercepted by Park, a run and chase saw Tait ever closing his man but the Park centre made it beneath the posts, a converted try for the visitors, game over!
This was probably the correct result but difficult to take as Morpeth could quite easily have won. Nevertheless despite a strong scrummage,the home side struggled at half back and seemed lacklustre, particularly in the first half where in all probability the first 40 minutes lost them the game,albeit the interceptions being the main talking point .
Nevertheless, there is a need to move on quickly, regroup and take on the difficult trip to Wheatley Hills with confidence.