Morpeth 26 Wheatley Hills 25 North One East League
WHAT a start to the new league season as Morpeth pulled off a last-minute win in an exceptionally hard-fought fixture which sent the Mitford Road faithful into raptures.
This was game that went down to the wire with the very last kick of the match.
The ground was in pristine condition when Morpeth lined up against what is always a physical encounter against the Doncaster-based unit and the visitors had an early chance with a penalty that was pulled wide after 10 minutes.
Yet they were not be denied and it was no surprise when forward pressure allowed for a try for the visitors after 15 minutes.
When Jinks reduced the deficit, Wheatley Hills increased their lead with a penalty of their own to make the score 8-3 to the away side after 23 minutes.
Then Morpeth scored a spectacular try, a Jinks break when the easier option was to pass, took play to halfway then good work by Wonders and Hill led to Forsythe storming under the posts.Jinks adding the extras.
Than on the half-hour, right-wing Turner went over after a Tait break, again by the posts with a successful conversion following.
Not making life easy, Morpeth gave away a soft penalty. An attacking line-out ensued, which proved a successful tactic for Wheatley and it did so again with a forward surge.
Half-time came, 17-15 in Morpeth’s favour.
The second half proved to be more exciting as both sides swapped penalties. Morpeth then increased their lead, with a strong Defty burst followed by Forsythe yet again to the fore, which led to another Jinks penalty 23-18.
Morpeth then had concerted pressure, opting for an attacking line-out when a chance of three points seemed to be the better option.
It seemed the chance had gone when from yet another attacking line-out, Wheatley went over in the corner followed by an excellent conversion to give them the lead as the game went into injury-time.
Yet Morpeth were not to be denied and Jinks, sorely missed after his injury-hit year, secured the points with the last kick of the game.
This was an excellent result for the home side against their Yorkshire visitors who were vying for promotion last season.
It sets things up for what is hoped to be an exciting league programme.