Morpeth turn on style for opening day win
Morley 22-35 Morpeth RFC
Morpeth made an excellent start to their league campaign with victory at Morley on Saturday, writes Colin Green.
The outcome of the match was only decided in the final 15 minutes in a game, that for long periods, Morpeth were outplayed by a Morley outfit who had dominated in terms of possession and undoubtedly had chances to put the match out of reach.
Last season there was plenty of evidence of the excellent spirit in this Morpeth side and yet again there is ample evidence to suggest this still the case.
The game started with almost total Morley domination and a penalty gave them a 3-0 lead.
From the restart Morpeth hit back when Ben Hornby was on the mark with a penalty to bring the scores level.
Yet again Morley dominated possession and after two missed chances a convertred try gave them a 10-3 lead.
Another Morpeth rare incursion saw Hornby strike an excellent penalty from quite a way out, for 10-6, but Morley increased their lead on halftime going over from an attacking lineout to make it 17-6 at the break.
In the second half Morley added another try from a quickly taken penalty, unconverted for 22-6.
The game looked absolutely over from a Morpeth perspective, but they hit back immediately as Hornby again kicked a penalty for 22-9.
This was the turning point.
Telford with good feet and pace, combined with Elliott who had grafted throughout in both defence and attack had rightly kept the momentum going with a quickly taken penalty, then linked with Dynan who handed to the full back scoring near the posts. 22-16.
The momentum was now definitely with Morpeth, and Phillips, after a shift of defending, saw him move to flanker in place of Armstrong to produce another significant effort up front.
Tait, who played really well,then arrived as an attacking force with an excellent outside break handing onto Jardine who again showed both good feet and no little pace to over near the posts for Hornby to convert on 70 minutes.
The game had turned around completely, and it really was quite a match to witness.
It was all Morpeth Tait again with another break and combining with Jardine who cut back beating cover defenders handing onto the impressive Ollie Dynan to score for Hornby to convert. 30-22.
Finally Hornby made an interception some 40m out, and as he also does regularly, he just made it in the corner to finish the scoring, unfortunately his energy had evaporated for the unsuccessful conversion.