Morpeth 6 West 10

By Dave Picken - December 15 2013
Morpeth 6 West 10 Morpeth  made us fight all the way for this win which puts us virtually level with YMCA in second place. The Huddersfield side are just five scoring points ahead of us so it’s all to play for in the New Year.

We also now have a three week break [apart from Boxing Day, of course]  before an improving Middlesbrough visit Brinkburn - and we certainly need the rest.

A lot of the lads are carrying knocks and at Morpeth we lost Colin Cheslin to a back injury before the game even started.  Jonny Boatman had to leave the field during the first half because of a neck injury while  Andrew Cheslin hurt his shoulder just before the end. Gez the physio might need to bring some of Santa’s little helpers with him when he returns from his Christmas jolly to Lapland.

In between all the injuries we did not acquit ourselves very well. We failed to score any points with the wind behind us in the first half and lost a lot of line out ball.

Into the wind we did get our act together, against a side  also hit by injuries,  and gradually churned out a deserved victory,  but one that was always fragile.

Fortunately for us the Stags were also playing at Mitford Road, so veteran Darren Thomas was drafted in on the wing and went on to play a major role.

In a largely uneventful first half Morpeth went ahead after five minutes thanks to a penalty from Matthew Jinks.

Ten minutes later we  had a chance to equalise when Stu Waites was  taken out off the ball. While he was down receiving treatment Luke Mallinson deputised as goalkicker but his effort was well wide.

We continued to probe, but a succession of kicks from Ryan Painter and Stu Waites failed to open the home defence, and so we turned round to face the wind without a point to our name.

The home side strangely turned down an easy shot at goal - choosing to run the penalty but messed up  their charge to the line.

Finally, we increased our work rate and drove the home side back. Ian Pinchen and Andy Turner were consistently getting across the gain line to open up the game for the West backs to show some good handling skills.

Andy Dixon came on fifteen minutes into the second half, but lasted less than 30 seconds as Morpeth prop Karl Campbell welcomed him with a couple of punches.  Dixon, perhaps understandably, retaliated and both went to the bin.

Referee Finlay Brown, a promising young Scottish ref studying in Newcastle,  gave us the penalty and from the resulting line-out we finally got their breakthrough with Adam Coates eventually going over.

Waites missed with the conversion,  however  we continued to play the game in the home half with Morpeth hooker David Dickson sin-binned for killing the ball,

We took advantage with Darren Thomas bursting up the right wing. He had Michael Hogan outsides but dummied and went for the line himself only to be  stopped a metre short.

Fortunately, there was enough support for us to mount another series of attacks on the line with skipper Dan Boatman the man to emerge triumphant. Waites was narrowly wide with the conversion which meant there was still just one score between the sides.

With ten minutes left Morpeth reduced the arrears still further with a penalty from 25 metres. That might have been the cue for an all-out assault on the West line, but the home side had rarely looked like scoring a try all afternoon and, with the darkness quickly descending, we were able to hold out.

Morpeth: Ben Hornby, Matt Jinks, Alex Tait, James Phillips, Andrew Telford, Kieran Brown, Paul Jackson,  Liam Carmichael, David Dickinson, Karl Campbell, James Armstrong, Rory Morrison, Cam Curry, Richie Armstrong, Andy Duggan. Reps: Niall Allen, Nick Birch, Will Thornton.

Pens: Jinks [2]

Yellow: Campbell, Dickinson.

West: Luke Mallinson,  Scott Butcher, Andrew Cheslin [Davy Tighe 78], Greg Edwards, Darren Thomas, Stu Waites, Ryan Painter, Ian Pinchen, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, Owen Bennett, Andy Robson, Dan Boatman [c], Jon Boatman [Michael Hogan 20], Andy Turner. Reps:  Andrew Dixon, Davy Tighe, Michael Hogan.

Tries: Coates, D Boatman.

Yellow: Dixon.

Referee: Finlay Brown [Northumberland]

Morpeth 6 West 10
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
15/12/2013 12:15
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Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
15/12/2013 12:18
Sorry all. I thought I had sent the final score but mobile reception was a patchy so it obviousdly didnt get through

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
16/12/2013 05:04
Well done WEST. At least a win, but beginning to see the difference bonus points could make and to increase even the points difference. Sounds as if we need the break to be rid of niggly injuries and to regroup for the next year tilt at the runner up spot. Merry Christmas in advance to everyone associated with West Club wishing you all a great festive season!!! and a successful fruition in the New Year!!!

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
16/12/2013 11:37
Hope the injuries are not too serious as we need to kick on in the New Year.
Well done to the lads who toughed this one out.

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Supercodhead (IP Logged)
16/12/2013 12:06
seems to m e like youre getting your Boxing Day excuses in early>>>Rovers hitting form at the right time>>>

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Chocky's Butler (IP Logged)
16/12/2013 15:12
Just means more of the Stageroos will get a game.

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
17/12/2013 03:45
Looking at results and report on performances, was wondering how much might be contributed to training changes from Club to Dyke House. Maybe just a coincidence but could be worth looking at!!!

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
17/12/2013 09:32
Denny that's a shrewd observation from the desert. Gez was saying the same thing a couple of weeks ago and I think the intention is to do one session per week on grass at the club.

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
17/12/2013 11:02
In my experience you're more likely to pick up injuries when you don't train regularly. Not sure what the location has to do with it.

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Denny Dixon (IP Logged)
18/12/2013 07:36
Was talking about performance NOT injuries!!! Admittedly number of injuries doesn't help and can disturb continuity of team performance..

Re: Morpeth 6 West 10
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
18/12/2013 15:05
Denny its the injury issues which seem to be the most important thing. Training twice a week on 3G can apparently cause some knee and back issues.

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