Morpeth Colts 31 Percy Park Colts 9
MORPETH Colts were back in action on Saturday and they put in an impressive performance to end Percy Park Colts’ undefeated run.
The match kicked off in near-perfect conditions and the home side came out the blocks flying and took the game to their opponents, with the forwards providing a solid platform for the backs to run off.
Within the first five minutes, after some good build-up play, fly-half Brown made a break and got deep into the opposition 22 before being hauled down. The forwards supported well and Percy Park very quickly found themselves defending on their try-line.
Morpeth continued to hammer away at the visitors’ line but their defence held, then just as Park seemed to have turned the ball over, the referee judged it was done illegally and awarded the home side a penalty try – with Brown adding the extras, it was 7-0.
Park set about trying to get a foothold in the game. Their defence was holding firm and, with Morpeth getting penalised for holding on, they finally managed to mount an attack of their own – getting into the Morpeth 22 for the first time in the match.
The hosts now found themselves having to defend which they did admirably, putting their bodies on the line time and time again. However, they were penalised at a ruck, affording Park the opportunity to take three points and the penalty-kick was successful.
The away side continued to press, but Morpeth’s defence held firm with open-side Stansfield impressing with his hard tackles and energy. The boy seemed to be everywhere. Wherever he was, his back row colleagues Birch and Lamont were right there with him, doing what needed to be done.
Just outside their 22, the Mitford Road outfit got the break their hard work deserved with Bullock, diving on a loose ball, giving his team the chance to counter. The ball was kept in the forwards for a few phases then came out to the backs, with Brown seeing space in behind Park’s defence.
He kicked the ball, giving wing Evans and full-back Duncan something to chase providing a territorial gain, resulting in quick ball with Brown breaking the line and going over unopposed between the posts. He converted his own try, making the score 14-3, and that is how the score remained at half time.
Morpeth kicked off the second half and had a lot of defending to do, with Park throwing everything they could at the Mitford Road young guns. They again failed to cross the line but did come away with three points from their foray (14-6).
The home side re-started and managed to win the ball back, a long period of play followed with the ball changing sides several times through infringements from both teams around the ruck. Eventually, Morpeth broke the deadlock with an impressive few phases of play which saw the ball going the width of the pitch and all 15 players getting their hands on it.
Centre Parsons made the telling run, drawing the last defender and passing to captain Alex Tait, who went over to the right of the posts. Metronome Brown stepped up to add the two points, making the score 21-6.
The visitors came back at Morpeth with renewed vigour and for a long period of time kept the ball, putting the home team under considerable pressure, but again they could find no way through the stone-wall defence with every man doing their job and again denying Park the try.
Percy Park did come away with three points to reduce the deficit to 12. By this stage changes had been made with Lyall coming on for Manley, Duncan moving to centre and Bradley coming on at full-back, also Jones went into the pack at tight-head and Davison slotted into second-row.
Following the restart, Park again pressed in what was probably their most threatening phase of the game with the ball pinging along the backs, stretching the defence, unfortunately for them it came to naught as the ball got knocked on in the centres.
Morpeth took advantage as they went back up the field and into a threatening position, won a penalty and came away with another three points as the kick went between the posts.
The final score came in the final minute. Lyall on the right had been making some stout charges up his wing and he finally got the try he deserved, diving over in the corner after a good supporting run. Brown again added the extras to make the final score 31-9.
This was a very competitive match and Morpeth had to work hard for the victory, which they richly deserved, but credit must also go to the Percy Park players who never gave up and played their part in making it an excellent game of rugby to watch.
Walton Marquees of Brunswick Industrial Estate are proud to sponsor Morpeth Colts.