Morpeth RFC 15-7 Percy Park
Morpeth made it two wins out of two in this close encounter with near neighbours Percy Park. The home win cemented the excellent result against Morley, albeit this game failed to match the excellence and excitement of last week.
It was certainly hard-fought but lacked fluidity in a fixture that was rigorously refereed, littered with both penalties and yellow cards.
Morpeth played a total of 40 minutes with 14 men.
The match kicked off in good conditions with Park dominating the early encounters, against a well organised home defence.
An early yellow card was shown against scrum half Elliott causing a reshuffle of Sam Hornby filing in at 9 and it was brother Ben at fly half who caught the eye early on, with some impressive distance gained from penalties, as well sound decision making.
It was 15 minutes in when Morpeth attacked and a Tait break, he was again a threat throughout, saw him held up five metres out. Tait’s partnership with Phillips continued to impress, particularly when Park tried to move it wide.
While Park looked the more likely to score, when Morpeth got a foothold in the opposition 22, an excellent set play from an attacking line out saw Long’s excellent hand sending Craigs crashing through, again to be held up just short of the Park line.
The game continued at a slow place, with the home side guilty on many occasions of losing the ball in contact or knocking on. This led to a complete lack of continuity.
Another yellow card on 35 minutes only fed on this frustration and at half-time it remained 0-0.
The second half saw Morpeth immediately adopting a more direct approach with picking and driving through the middle. Success came via a simple Ben Hornby penalty on 45 minutes.
Then on 48 minutes Morpeth scored a good try started and finished by left wing Liam Allen from deep in his own half. He made an excellent break and after some quick recycling and good hands the ball reappeared to Allen who touched down for a fine score.
At 8-0 Morpeth had the momentum and on 60 minutes an excellent Telford break caused havoc only for replacement Boldy to delay a pass with men over and a score beckoning.
On 65 minutes Jake Jardine, on as a replacement for Allen, firstly rounded his man and then cleverly chipped ahead for an outstanding individual effort converted by Hornby (15-0) .
Yet Park never gave up and were rewarded with a converted score by the posts to make the final score 15-7.
Another win for Morpeth, with Long in particular excelling up front, coupled with a well-marshalled defence.