Morpeth 15 West 17

By Dave Picken - March 26 2017
Morpeth 15 West 17 Watching West these days is not for the faint hearted as we once again overturned a 15-0 deficit thanks to a late late try from Rob Thorn and a superb touchline conversion from Gavin Painter..

The four points could prove invaluable as Driffield's 24-24 draw at Penrith means the Cumbrians are now five points behind us in the battle for the play-off place.

Once again we were slow to impose ourselves on the game with Morpeth going into a seventh minute lead -- No 8 Matt Dawson taking an inside ball to crash over under the posts from three metres, with Ben Hornby adding the conversion.

The rest of the half became a midfield battle with West holding their own in the scrum against the famed Morpeth pack - and stealing the odd line out ball.

The breakdown was a constant battle with referee John Ash eventually losing his patience to yellow card Gavin Painter after 25 minutes. Hornby slotting the penalty. We then quickly gave away another ten metres for back chat but kept Morpeth at bay until the break.

The second half began with a burst through the middle from Aaron Myers, and that was a sign of things to come as the West forwards took every opportunity to try to break through the home defence.

However, pressure was relieved when a clearing kick from full back Kieran Brown bounced invitingly on the half way line for Myers, but he was tackled off the ball with Mr Ash unsighted. Morpeth kicked ahead and only a knock on in the corner by winger Johnny Ward prevented what would have been an unfortunate score against West.

However, there was nothing wrong with Ward’s next contribution when he finished off a simple move along the backs to speed in at the same corner to give his side a 15-0 lead.

With a quarter of the game to go we set about another rescue mission. And it was the ever lively Lee Maddison who this time made a break through the centre. Replacement Alex Barker was in support to drive the ball on, with Peter Youll coming in on his shoulder to send Liam Checksfield stepping inside to go in under the posts.

Gavin Painter’s conversion rebounded off the post, but we were undaunted and Checksfield again broke up the right only for his pass to replacement winger Joe Willis going to ground.

Willis was back in the thick of it a minute later only to have the ball knocked out of his hands as he was tackled inches short of the line.

Barker Break
It was third time lucky after 70 minutes when Alex Barker again stormed through the home defence (above) to send Youll away up the right - his pass to Willis saw him go in by the corner flag. Painter’s conversion was agonizingly close to the posts.

Morpeth were visibly rocking with Maddison again bursting through, only to be frustrated to see his pass to Ryan Painter going behind the scrum half.

A similar move then saw the most controversial incident in the game. Checksfield was sent clear through the middle and as he ran diagonally across the posts he was caught just short of the line with a swinging arm as he dived over. Mr Ash immediately called over the Alnwick defender for a stern lecture but awarded West a penalty - despite loud appeals from West supporters for a penalty try. The official later explaining that he felt Checksfield had lost control of the ball as he touched down, but couldn't be sure whether it happened because of the offending tackle or before it.

Thorn Try Morpeth
We opted to kick for the line-out but failed to make the most of the opportunity - with just a few minutes left it looked like we may have had to leave Mitford Road ruing that controversial decision. Fortunately, that wasn’t to be the case, as one final attack saw Morpeth stretched right across their try line. The ball was worked out left where  Rob Thorn was not to be stopped as he forced his way over in the clubhouse corner (above).

Mr Ash indicated that the conversion from the left touchline would be the last play of the game with Gav taking his time to line-up his kick. He had had two previous “sighters” and this time his aim was deadly accurate as his effort sailed through the middle of the posts to keep the Brinkburn bandwagon rolling.

Next week league leaders Pocklington arrive at Brinkburn for the last home game of the season. Let's hope we don't offer them the opportunity of establishing a decent lead.

Morpeth: Kieran Brown, Jonny Ward, Dave Lynn, James Phillips, Miles Gavaghan, Ben Hornby, Jack Elliott, Liam Carmichael, Karl Campbell, Tony Moody, James Armstrong, Nick Birch, Micky Craigs (capt), Josh Williams, Matt Dawson.
Reps (all used): Andy Shippen, Paul Mooney, Andy Gayner.
Tries: Dawson, Ward.
Con: Hornby.
Pen: Hornby
West: Zac Southern, Rob Thorn, Liam Checksfield, Peter Youll, Luke Mallinson, Gavin Painter, Ryan Painter, Anth Carr, Andrew Rollins, Adam Coates, John Bunter, Joe Rafferty, Dan Boatman (capt), Lee Maddison, Aaron Myers.
Reps (all used): Ross Wood, Alex Barker, Joe Willis.
Tries: Checksfield, Willis, Thorn.
Con: G Painter
Yellow: G Painter
Referee: John Ash (Northumberland Society)

Morpeth 15 West 17
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
26/03/2017 10:30
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Re: Morpeth 15 West 17
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 08:39
Another nail biter. We played really well in the second half and it definitely should have been a penalty try.
Big week this week!!!!!

Re: Morpeth 15 West 17
west girl (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 09:17
Morpeth's report is very complimentary


Re: Morpeth 15 West 17
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 11:56
Good club nice people

Re: Morpeth 15 West 17
milkybar kid (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 15:44
west girl Wrote:
> Morpeth's report is very complimentary
> []
> ontent&task=view&id=2105&Itemid=18

Have to agree, a good rugby club, nice people, and a well balanced review of the game......... however...... can west girl........ please contact the Morpeth match reporter and inform him...... lol........We Are 'NOT A TEESSIDE CLUB'....We Are A Proud County Durham Club.

Re: Morpeth 15 West 17
west girl (IP Logged)
27/03/2017 20:13
That was the first thing I said when I read it!

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