Morpeth RFC 34-19 Cleckheaton
On an exceptionally warm mid-October afternoon, Morpeth continued their impressive start to the season with another significant win against West Yorkshire outfit Cleckheaton. There was a good crowd at Mitford Road to welcome the two teams with the home side in their change strip.
The game kicked off with the home side playing away from the changing rooms and they soon took the lead on four minutes with an excellent Telford try. The full back was impressively confident throughout. An ability to beat the first man, coupled with the maturity to make the right decision, caused the opposition problems. The try came after the full back exchanged passes with second row Long before crashing over near the posts. Fly half Boldy kicked the extras for a 7-0 lead.
A further score was squandered when skipper Hill knocked on after a flowing move involving backs and forwards.
Morpeth couldn’t put away the opposition who hit back with a try of their own when right wing Downs sprinted over after a backs’ set move making it 7-7.
The Morpeth side possesses a great deal of pace with an ability to score from a long way out, yet they were unable to play with fluency, with dropped passes becoming a feature of the first half. That said, both Williams and Long impressed with storming runs and impressive offloads. Another chance went begging on 30 minutes when Boldy failed to offload close to the opposition line after Parkinson had cleverly created an opening.
The lead was regained when Telford completed his brace of tries.An excellent attacking line out, a miss out in the backs sent the full back over with Boldy again on with the conversion.14-7 on 35 minutes. That wasn’t the end to the first-half scoring, with scrum half Elliott scrambling determinedly over in the corner for a 19-7 half-time lead.
The second half started in a spooky darkness that was lightened when first Tait broke on half-way and excellent hands from Hill and Dynan saw left wing Jardine race over. Then Jardine was the provider after a super Phillips pass, with a kick ahead allowing the very quick Dynan to gather and score for Boldy to convert for 34-7 on 58 minutes. Game over? Absolutely not.
Back came Cleckheaton showing a great deal of spirit and no little skill to score to deserving late tries to make the final scoreline 34-19.
This was not a vintage Morpeth performance and, as in many games to date, they performed in patches as opposed to the full 80 minutes. Yet, it is another excellent victory to maintain their position among the league leaders.