Morley Preview

By Dave Picken - September 5 2019
Morley Preview An interesting start to our return to North One East with a trip to Morley – one of the sides tipped for a return to the North Premiership.

The two clubs have faced each other numerous times, and at various levels of the game, but will always be bound by the memory of John Howe, the West and England Under 23 second row, who collapsed and died during a game at Scatcherd Lane in 1992.

This season the Morley games will bookend the season  with the Maroons returning for the final league fixture in April 2020.


No doubt Morley’s target is to make a speedy return to level 5, while the excitement at Brinkburn revolves around the host of new faces making the step up from the West Academy as well as the return to action of the likes of Liam Bailey (man of the match at Westoe last week) and Alex Johnson


Both the Firsts and the Stags are now reaping the benefits of the Academy which was started two years ago when the lads were Under 17.

A host of them have figured in the three tough pre-season games where the intensity followed on from that epic performance against Heath.

Kiwi Connection 550

That cohort includes two lads whose fathers travelled half-way across the world to play for West in the professional era and decided to stay - Brett Cullinane (left) with son Liam and Jamie Connolly with son Oli.

 
A few knocks were picked up in the pre-season games - notably to last season’s top try scorer Will Hilditch and winger Adam Peacock.


However, the first league game sees the return of young second row Jake Linighan whose late season tries were a major factor in West’s promotion push. Back row Alex Barker is also fit with the versatile back Luke Mallinson also available after missing the cup tie.

The starting frst team line-up includes three Academy “graduates” with back row Ethan Ledington already figuring in every game so far this season, and prop Liam Pennick equally impressive at Westoe. Oli Connolly will be at full back with Aidan Jackson-Smith on the bench.


West: Oli Connolly, Max Tennant, Zac Southern, Peter Youll, Lewis Scott,  Stu Waites, Ryan Painter (capt), Adam Coates,  Adam Brown, Liam Pennick, Jake Linighan, Michael Hogan, Alex Barker, Ethan Ledington, Liam Pennick, Chris Atkins.

Changes: Luke Mallinson, Matthew Fleet, Aidan Jackson-Smith.

 
Morley Preview
Official West Hartlepool RFC (IP Logged)
06/09/2019 09:52
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Re: Morley Preview
Parental Unit (IP Logged)
06/09/2019 12:23
Looks like an interesting season ahead with plenty of competition for places once everyone is fit and available.
Good luck to both sides tomorrow.

 
Re: Morley Preview
Dave Picken (IP Logged)
06/09/2019 13:55
Just realised that with Rollo unavailable this week all of the 18 players in the first team squad came through our minis and juniors.

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