WHEATLEY HILLS 20
Morpeth kicked off the New Year with a narrow defeat against relegation threatened Wheatley Hills in a game that really could have gone either way,.
Ultimately, the match went to the home side as Morpeth drew small comfort from picking up a single bonus point, after their long trip to Yorkshire.
Morpeth took an early lead when after seven minutes a teasing chip ahead by scrum half Elliott saw Brown pouncing on the loose ball within the dead ball area to score. Unfortunately the full back took a knock in the process forcing him to leave the field albeit temporarily. Ball converted to give Morpeth a seven point advantage.
Injuries continued to disrupt when Si Michie had to leave the field with an injured knee to be replaced by Carmichael.
A further kick ahead this time from skipper Hill saw further havoc to the home defence with Thornton this time able to touch down, Ball hitting the post with the conversion making the score 12-0 after 20 minutes. The home side duly hit back with a converted try of their own from an attacking lineout, making the score 12-7 in Morpeth’s favour.
The scoring continued unabated when a Sam Hornby break, saw Thornton make ground before Hill was on hand to score with Ball adding the extras.
Unfortunately, a penalty straight from the restart allowed Wheatley to reduce the deficit to 19-10 at the interval.
This gap was further reduced with another Wheatley penalty to make the score 19-13 to Morpeth ,whose performance was disrupted both to injuries ,and to indiscipline around the breakdown, which saw two men sin binned culminating in a converted push over try to the home side ,taking them into a 20-19 lead.
The scoring opportunities were not finished and Ball had the chance to secure the points with a penalty in the dying minutes but pushed the kick just wide of the uprights.