All-action stalemate in the sunshine

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North Shields 1 Morpeth 1 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

ON an abnormally stifling hot day for October, Morpeth and North Shields were looking to bounce back after losing their opening games.

The home side came out of the traps at the start a lot brighter and had Morpeth camped in their own half for the majority of the first half.

The visitors’ defence, excellently stewarded by centre-backs Dye and Holmes, held strong and full-backs McLean and Mulligan also eased the pressure by accurately releasing the ball to the midfield players.

Morpeth were unfortunate not to have taken the lead when an improvised short-corner was cleared off the line onto the post.

The first half ended in deadlock at 0-0 and both teams were hugely grateful for a break and chance to get out of the sun.

The second half was clearly Morpeth’s best period of play and so it came as a bit of a surprise when North Shields broke the deadlock.

A short-corner was blasted towards the goal and an unfortunate slip-up at the back saw the ball bobble over the line.

But the away side stayed positive and the equaliser came when a poorly-executed 16-yard clearance was picked up by Ayad Shafiq, who turned the pressure on and immediately drove the ball back towards to D.

The ball was slipped to Ritchie Brown, who took one touch to control and then calmly slipped it under the keeper.

There was quite a frantic finish despite the conditions, but neither side could find a winner.

Morpeth II 12 Wilton II 0

North East Hockey League, Development One

MORPETH Seconds went goal crazy in the sunshine and once again hit double figures.

The home side’s pressure finally told when Gilmore fired low past the keeper after some patient build-up play from midfield.

A second soon followed as Sander surged past the Wilton defence to slot under the on-rushing keeper and Minty showed good energy to follow up a saved shot and put the rebound high into the net. A strong squad meant Morpeth were able to make regular substitutions in the second half and this paid off with nine more goals scored.

Gilmore, Minty and Sander were again among the goals, taking their personal tallies to five, three and two respectively.

Craggs and Mooney also netted to make the final score 12-0.