Youthful Morpeth no match for their visitors Ilkley
Morpeth 3Ilkley 31Morpeth continued their league programme with another home game against North Yorkshire side Ilkley.
Again it was an extremely youthful Morpeth side that took the field on a dry but windy afternoon with the home side having the benefits of the elements. Indeed Morpeth started the better and deservedly took the lead on five minutes with a Jake McKay penalty. 3-0.
The young centre was heavily involved in the early action with another long range effort falling just short followed by an important last ditch tackle as the visitors looked threatening.
Morpeth were then further disrupted when Telford was forced off the field to be replaced by a far from fit Ward.
Ilkley grew into the game, the flyhalf and centre axis of King and Johnson caused the home defence problems throughout and it was only through some poor handling wide out that prevented the visitors scoring.
In the meantime, Morpeth's scoring efforts were restricted to McKay's boot. A superb long range effort struck the post on 29 minutes. The home side were unable to provide the kicking accuracy to pen the visitors back as they consistently counter attacked with pace and skill, whilst Morpeth defended stoutly.
Ilkley deservedly took the lead before halftime after consistent pressure saw captain Lowes going over.
Half time score 3-5.
Cleverly using the elements Ilkley won the match in the first 20 minutes of the second half. The pace and skill of the Ilkley backs enabled two early scores from executed set piece moves.
Another score on 65 minutes made the score 3-24 in the visitors favour.
Yet the young Morpeth side showed good spirit and came again but were let down by poor handling at crucial times.
Captain Dynan worked hard, together with a front row of Gavaghan, Yilmaz and the experienced Moody. Flanker Craig Donnelly caught the eye with a spirited performance showing both skill and determination, whilst Manley posed a threat wide out.
Yet ultimately Ilkley were a far better outfit and thoroughly deserved their win rounded off with a late converted try. 3-31.
MoM – Theo Gavaghan.