West 20 Morpeth 14

By Dave Picken - November 20 2016
West 20 Morpeth 14 Morpeth arrived with a seasoned pack and a pair of talented half-backs  so we were never comfortable in this victory - but with Alnwick and Pocklington both losing this four pointer may prove to be a vital win as the season unfolds ....

With vice-captain Ryan Painter and second row Joe Rafferty away we blooded 17 year old scrum half  Matty Siddle and his fearless tackling and long quick pass were major features as our pack often went backwards. 

No 8 Sam Miller was also missing through injury ,as was Michael Hogan, so we were always deficient in terms of bulk. However, we did had the bonus of the return of athletic lock John Bunter where his line-out skills won vital ball  and skipper  Dan Boatman,who was carrying an injury throughout, did a valiant job at No 8.

As a result fly half Gavin Painter put in a man of the match performance with his tactical kicking providing the platform.

It came to the fore after just six minutes when we were already trailing to a penalty from Morpeth fly half Ben Hornby.

Zac Southern intelligently kicked into the 22, and when the visitors failed to throw straight at the line-out West took the opportunity to catch and drive.

Peter Youll then  made progress and when the ball was recycled Painter put a high punt towards the corner flag at the clubhouse end. Rob Thorn was first to the ball and he used his power to shrug off Morpeth winger Jake McKay to crash over. 

Painter converted from wide on the left, and he  was on target again with 25 metre penalty after he made a half break with Siddle and Maddison taking the ball on - Morpeth eventually being penalised for going over the top. 

The visitor's pack then enjoyed its best spell of the game forcing us back into our half.  Hornby slotted two penalties before Painter again struck right on half time to give us a 13-6 lead at the break. 

Jay Corbett had forced the penalty in front of the posts as he barged his way towards the line - only to pay the price having to retire with an arm injury to be replaced at the break by Carl Milller.. 

Morpeth had the elements behind them  in the second half and they used them to pin us back. 

 A succession of penalties saw us run out of numbers on the blind side with winger Jonny Ward crashing over in the corner. The visitors had opted for scrums instead of shots at the goal posts as their pack continued to have the better of the set piece. 

Hornby's conversion attempt was too low, but he did strike after 52 minutes to give the visitors the lead – the penalty coming after young Irish referee Ian Kenny had penalised us seven times in a row. (Incidentally, Ian is living in Aberdeen and is a member of the Scottish Rugby Society. He had run touch at Scotstoun on Friday night before overnighting in Penrith en route to Hartlepool, and after the game had a long drive back to north east Scotland. Good luck to him in his rugby career).

The restart provided the opportunity to rebuild with both sides missing penalty attempts before home pressure finally resulted in the winning score with just seven minutes left on the clock. 

It came after replacement winger Will Hilditch collected a clearance kick just inside his own half and he jinked through the defence to set up good ball in the 22. 
Gav Painter took the ball towards the line and when he was brought down the ball was quickly spun right by Siddle where Southern picked out Liam Checksfield. 

The youngster had Rob Thorn outside him but cut inside to crash over despite the attentions of three tacklers. 

Painter again converted to give us a six point margin which we held onto until the final whistle without too many threats from Morpeth. 

West: Zac Southern, Liam Checksfield, Eldon Myers, Peter Youll, Rob Thorn, Gavin Painter, Matt Siddle, Adam Coates, Andrew Rollins, Ross Wood, Jay Corbett, John Bunter,  Alex Barker, Lee Maddison, Dan Boatman (captain). 
Reps (all used): Tim Blades, Will Hilditch, Carl Miller. 
Tries: Thorn, Checksfield. 
Cons: Painter (2) 
Pens: Painter (2) 

Morpeth: David Wall, Jonny Ward, Ben Turner, David Lynn, Jake McKay, Ben Hornby, Jack Elliott, Liam Carmichael, Carl Hill (capt), Tony Moody, Karl Campbell, Simon Michie, Robbie Stansfield, Mickey Craigs, James Armstrong. 
Reps (all used): Hus Yilmaz, Will McCubbin, Callum Lawn. 
Tries: Ward. 
Pens: Hornby (3). 
Referee Ian Kenny (Scottish Referees Society)

West 20 Morpeth 14
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
20/11/2016 11:41
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Re: West 20 Morpeth 14
Rozzy 1 (IP Logged)
20/11/2016 13:52
Good summing up Dave ... young Matty S had a very good game, simple and effective, and Gav was MoM.
As I've said before, when we hit TEAM form at home we'll hammer somebody.

Re: West 20 Morpeth 14
21/11/2016 14:38
Worked hard again and some good performances including from Arty's grandson.
One lesson we must learn is that if the ref is penalizing you for something you must stop doing it whether you think he is right or wrong.

Re: West 20 Morpeth 14
Foot Up (IP Logged)
21/11/2016 21:00
WPA I had a very similar conversation in the Club after the game. Morpeth played/adapted to the refs interpretation of the laws better than we did (especially the back foot, hence why they were up on us so quickly).

I personally don’t like the amount of back chatting to the ref when a decision went against us. In my day the ref would have given another ten yards/metres (giving my age away here, I remember a try only being worth three points).

Agree with your comments regarding young Sid, good quick long pass. I was talking to his Grandad on the touchline, he must have been very proud.

At the end of the day it was a win, a couple of seasons ago we would have lost this match.

Re: West 20 Morpeth 14
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
22/11/2016 10:07
Agree with a lot of this. Far too much moaning going on both on and off the pitch. It never does you any good.

Re: West 20 Morpeth 14
milkybar kid (IP Logged)
22/11/2016 16:19
It certainly doesn't make any difference on the pitch,overall the Ref got a lot more right then he did wrong, the back foot law is a contentious issue even at the highest level. maybe we did have slightly the worst of that, however he could have, but didn't, punish West for some of the verbals.

It takes a decent side to win tight games when they are misfiring, we have done that on 3 or 4 occasions this season, it needs to sink into the teams psyche, that we are a decent side.

Young Sid does have a pass n a half........ from memory, it was slightly longer than Arty's.....lol, but the same character runs through the Sid's.

Just a thought can we get back to the mucky pint. being just that, I nearly threw up watching the gunge spooned out of those glasses.

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