Skill, not luck, secures win

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Newcastle Medics I 0 Morpeth I 2 North East Hockey League, Premier Division

IT was a case of third time lucky when it came to the trip to West Road for Morpeth to get the result against Newcastle Medics. Although, to be fair, there was no luck involved for this game.

Reeling off the back of a frustrating loss from the previous week, the green and gold were keen to return to winning ways.

Half-way through the first half, Morpeth won their first short corner, and they couldn’t have asked for a better and simpler opening routine when the ball was rifled into the bottom left corner by Paul Danecki to open the account. This somewhat stunned the home team and Morpeth took hold of the game.

The Medics continued to test the Morpeth resilience with some close calls of their own. However, the back line of McLean, Dye, Holmes and Mulligan held well, making sure that the keeper Jackson was relatively untroubled. It wasn’t all a walk in the park though, as he made sure that the third clean sheet of the season was on the cards with some excellent saves.

With the Medics pressing high, Morpeth capitalised on an error outside their own D, and captain Ritchie Brown controlled the loose ball and launched an inch-perfect ball high to the galloping veteran Bruce McPate.

McPate penetrated the home D without much hassle from the home defence and slipped the ball to John Dixon who rounded the keeper and calmly slotted the ball home on the reverse side to end a fantastic counter attack and give the Peth a 2-0 lead going into half-time.

The second half was a slightly different affair for Morpeth as the Medics warmed up a little and pressed to get back into the game. Both sides were battling against some incredible decisions, although the consistency was enough to keep it evenly spread.

Frustration set in for both sides, although the maturity of the visitors showed by managing to deal with it competently. The home side won a number of penalty corners, which Jackson and his troops brushed off with ease.

As the home side began to give up hope, the away side were also perhaps a little guilty of complacency at times and failed to add more to their tally.

Morpeth were unfortunate not to have scored more, with some attempts going agonisingly close.

However, Morpeth claimed another three points to continue their fantastic start to the season.