Morpeth 22 West 6

By Dave Picken - November 8 2015
Morpeth 22 West 6 This was a muck and bullets affair as both sides slogged it on Morpeth's alternative pitch down by the river.

A West side already missing a handful of regulars suffered another blow when flanker Liam Bailey had to pull out before the game. He'd taken a knock on the all weather training pitch at Dyke House, and failed a late fitness run with John Bunter having to travel from second team duty at Westoe to join the squad. (The Stags also losing at South Shields by 27-7.)

Against a team unbeaten at home it was always going to be a tough task. The lads stuck at it with the hosts scoring the only try of the game - maintaining a healthy lead through some excellent goal kicking from full back Alex Ball who scored 19 of his side's 22 points.

We gave a senior debut to Connor McLurg, in Bailey's place, and he went on to be one of the better performers.

Both sides struggled to put phases together, with Morpeth taking an early lead through a penalty from Ball before West enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Scott Butcher got a rare sight of the ball and broke through in midfield afetyr he being sent away by Peter Youll. Unfortunately, he was penalized for not releasing as the West forwards piled in to support in the home 22.

Opposite winger Joe Willis had the next run with Owen Bennett a rare visitor to the West back line involved in the move. The youngster was sent racing away only to be tackled ten metres out.

Gavin Painter got us level as the continued pressure produced a 25 metre penalty, and he gave West the lead, for the first and only time, with a well executed drop goal on the half hour.

That score came after Youll was unlucky to find himself in the sin bin for a late tackle in midfield.

It looked like we would be able to maintain the lead as his sentence ticked away, but a bit of daredevil enterprise on our own 22 was to cost us.
Danny Boatman, playing at No 8 in the absence of Sam Miller and just back from London after as hard week's work,  flicked a pass back through his legs as the West pack went backwards.

The ball wasn't good enough for Ryan Painter to collect. Morpeth pounced with fly half Karl Birch spotting a gap behind the defence to send in a grubber kick.
Ryan almost got there, but full back Ball had the momentum and he touched down and then produced an excellent conversion from close to the touchline.

He was on the mark again with a penalty before Gavin Painter was just inches wide with his own attempt right on the break.

We were trailing by just one score but had Ryan Painter, the head bandaged Danny Boatman and Chris Atkins noticeably struggling with first half knocks.

John Bunter came on for Atkins early in the second half, and his presence continued to ensure good line-out ball. However, both sides struggled to create any try scoring chances as the game was largely played between the 22s.

The hosts had the best chance after 50 minutes when winger Andy Gayner did touch down only for youthful Scottish referee Ross Mabon to bring play back for a forward pass.

Instead, it was left to full back Ball to keep nudging his side further ahead.

He had to wait until the 68th minute for his next opportunity, which was helped by West bemoaning a penalty decisions and being marched back ten metres.
Ball made no mistake with that effort and another five minutes later put his side 19-6 ahead.

We had brought on Beales at full back and he had a couple of good runs, while at the opposite end of the experience scale Anth Carr came off the bench into the front row and produced one or two cameo moments. (He says he is starting a new fitness regime next week thanks to changed work arrangements - so now it's public he'll have to stick to it).

Unfortunately they couldn't produce any try scoring attempts , which might have earned us our usual bonus point. Instead it was fly half Karl Birch who sealed the home side's win with a neat drop goal to complete the scoring.

Next week it's Wheatley Hills at home. They narrowly lost the Doncaster derby at Phoenix and we'll need some decent training sessions this week to get things back on track.

Morpeth: Alex Ball, Andy Gayner, Ben Hornby, Will Thornton, Ben Turner, Karl Birch, Jack Elliott, Liam Carmichael, Car Hill (captain), Tony Moody, James Armstrong, Simon Michie, Micky Craigs, David Calder, Tim Michie.

Replacements (all used:) Karl Campbell, Matt Dawson, Ryan Moon

Tries: Ball

Conversions Ball

Penalties :Ball (4)

Drop goal: Birch.

West: Luke Mallinson, Joe Willis, Greg Edwards, Peter |Youlll, Scott Butcher, Gavin Painter, Ryan Painter, Michael Hogan, Andrew Rollins, Ross Wood, Owen Bennett, Joe Rafferty, Connor McLurg, Chris Atkins, Dan Boatman (captain).

Replacements (all used): CeeJay Beales, Anth Carr, John Bunter.

Penalty: G Painter

Drop goal: G Painter

Yellow card: Youll

Referee: Ross Mabon ( Scottish Referees)


Morpeth 22 West 6
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
08/11/2015 12:09
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Re: Morpeth 22 West 6
09/11/2015 11:19
Disappointing result - that's obvious. All of this chopping and changing can't be helpful however we are seeing new young faces coming into the squad. The experience they are gaining will stand the club in good stead for seasons to come.
Hopefully the injuries will clear up soon.

Re: Morpeth 22 West 6
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
09/11/2015 14:21
Injuries, work, shopping trips with the missus they all get in the way of rugby at this level. Same for most clubs.

Re: Morpeth 22 West 6
chadwen (IP Logged)
09/11/2015 17:18
Was like the stags game winning lines lite with a few got catch and drives making distance and scrums 96% pushing them back, and with one quarter of the game having 75% of the ball in our hands, just not scoreing a great deal, with Danny Quinn going over in first half but ""a foot in touch""
But we tried to get into the game just never came

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