Third successive defeat for Morpeth away to Cleckheaton
Cleckheaton 36Morpeth RFC 27Morpeth made one of their many travels to Yorkshire to take on old foes and always competitive rivals Cleckheaton, writes Colin Green.
It proved to be an entertaining and close encounter that left a Morpeth side extremely disappointed, but nevertheless upbeat due to a vastly improved display. This was a game Morpeth could and possibly should have won particularly given their early second half advantage. It was ultimately a cracking encounter.
The game settled down with penalties. Firstly McKay converted an early chance for Morpeth before Cleckheaton replied with a penalty of their own before the same player restored Morpeth's early advantage. 3-6.
The home side then took the lead with a converted score ( 10-6), before skipper Dynan, part of an outstanding back row, together with Donnelly and Williams, led by example, and crossed just before half time with McKay adding the extras. 10-13.
Morpeth then took control of the game in the first ten minutes of the second half with two converted tries.
The first came from Dynan again which also resulted in a sinbinning for the home side.
Then Jake Jardine took advantage of a dropped ball and ran half the length of the field to touch down for another Morpeth score. McKay was yet again on the mark to convert both tries.
Although Morpeth had stretched their lead, the home side, now restored to a full compliment, took complete control of the game by winning and then keeping possession with their skilled number 8 leading the way.
The pressure told on the visitors building phase after phase and scoring four good tries in the process.
Before the final whistle Morpeth had the opportunity to salvage a couple of well deserved losing bonus points but an ambitious pass went astray and the game was over.
A much improved Morpeth performance with Scoops man of the match handed to skipper Dynan.
After three defeats in their opening three league fixtures, Morpeth currently sit 11th of 14 teams in the North East 1 table with one point.
On Saturday (September 25) they are back in action when they take on high-flying Moortown at home, a team currently sitting joint top of the division with three wins out of three.