Morpeth RFC 22-21 Bradford & Bingley
Morpeth secured their fourth successive league win with a hard fought victory against a talented Bradford and Bingley outfit who will feel hard done by at losing with the very last play of the game.
The Yorkshire outfit were very possibly the better side on the day but the home side lacks nothing for spirit in a match where for long periods they were not at their best.
It was a bright breezy afternoon but excellent conditions for open rugby and both sides tried to entertain. BB dominated the early encounters and deservedly took the lead on 10 minutes when an attacking line out saw a forward dominated try wide out which was expertly converted.
BB Fly half Johnson, the game’s outstanding player, continued to be a threat throughout, ably assisted by number 8 Cummings , full back Taylor and scrum half McCarthy, who all made life extremely difficult for the home side.
Yet Morpeth just began to make a mark on the game and a Hornby penalty reduced the arrears almost with their first attack for 7-3 to Morpeth.
On 18 minutes Morpeth were unlucky to have a try ruled out when a McKay kick ahead was chased down by Jardine.Further home pressure saw Craigs and Hornby made good progress down the short side.Then an excellent long throw by Hill and taken by Dynan saw another Hornby penalty chance, which hit the post.
On 28 minutes BB scored with Johnson and Cummings combining followed by another excellent conversion. 14-3 to BB.
On 38 minutes Morpeth scored, from an initial Tait break the ball went wide, left wing Jardine still with a lot to do ,beat a couple of men, before going over in the corner. The missed conversion left the half time score 14-8 to BB.
On 45 minutes the visitors extended their lead when recycled quick ball saw full back Taylor crash over for 21-8
But Morpeth were far from finished, Elliott acting quicker than others took a tap penalty to send McKay over in the corner for Hornby to convert superbly for 21-15 .
By this time the experienced Ian Burnham had entered the fray in the back row and with the last play of the game and after a sinbinning for the visitors, who’s use of replacements surely made it difficult to referee, saw the attacking scrum cause havoc in the BB defence, before constant forward pressure, with Williams going so very close, before Burnham crashed over.
It was another match where Morpeth started slowly, taking a while to make their mark, but it was another victory in an exceptionally close encounter. It is of note that of the seven league games on Saturday theree matches were won by a single point.