Morpeth 46 Hartlepool Rovers 14
Brian Robinson

Morpeth 46 Hartlepool Rovers 14

By R&O - May 18 2006
The final match of the North Two East season saw Rovers heavily beaten by an in form Morpeth side who outscored Rovers by seven tries to two and took an early grip on the game that the White Shirts didnít look like breaking.

Rovers fell behind to an 8th minute try when Morpethís captain David Dickinson powered over from a close range tap penalty and marksman Matthew Jinks slotted a touchline conversion and he then put over a simple 22 metre penalty to put Morpeth 10-0 up.

A spell of pressure by Rovers near the home line ended when Glen Wise notched his first try of the season by grabbing a loose ball to touch down. Chris Sainty kicked an excellent touchline conversion and Rovers were only three points down.

Rovers were finding it tough in the scrum with several strikes against the head and some massive shoves disrupting any chance of quality ball and from a spilled ball in midfield from one scrum, Alan Rogers was on hand to pick up and race to the line, Jinks converting for a 17-7 lead after 23 minutes.

On 31 minutes the score became 22-7 when the pack were bulldozed off the ball at their own scrum and Richard Morrison was alert to gather and dive over the line, Jinks being unable to add the extra points. Six minutes on and the home backs sped upfield with the ball being received by Jinks to cross for an unconverted try in the left hand corner.

That it wasnít going to be Roversí day was becoming very clear and things went from bad to worse after the interval, one that had seen two changes with Dean Cook and Jonny Cushlow being replaced by Thomas King and Jimmy Campbell, when Sainty was forced to retire after taking a knock after the ball had gone.

Phil Hall, in good form for the Heughers last Wednesday night against West Stags replaced Sainty and was soon forced to mark a dangerous kick ahead.

The Friaragemen found themselves penned in their own 22 and Joe Forsythe crossed with help from his fellow forwards and then some severe pressure eventually told with Forsythe touching down a second time, Jinks this time converting.

Refusing to give in, the Whites moved to half way with runs by Paul Kirton and Andrew Lilley with Dan Cavanagh then setting off at speed towards the posts and it looked like the number ten would go in for a try but the chasing Alan Moses and Paul Jackson tackled him. Cavanagh was able to offload to King who put Hall in for a try. Gareth Foreman converted with a great kick to make the score 39-14.

The second half seemed never ending and there was time with almost 50 second half minutes played for Moses to shrug off some tired looking Roversí tackles to score under the posts, Jinksí conversion giving a final score of 46-14.

Rovers will be disappointed with this performance, having been looking to send the departing Brian Robinson, Dan Cavanagh, Jared Stevend and Jason White off with a win. The Invitation Sevens and the RF Oakes Memorial Game still remain and, hopefully, Rovers can end the season on a high.

Morpeth: Rogers, Cole (Cunningham), W. Thornton, Hills, Harper, Jinks, Jackson, Ramsey, Goodfellow, Dickinson (c) (J. Thornton), Forsythe, Shippen, A. Hall, (J. Younger), Morrison, Ludford.

Rovers: Sainty (P. Hall), Humble, Lilley, Kirton, B. Cushlow, Cavanagh, Foreman, J. Cushlow (Campbell), Stevens, Wise, Power (c), Cook (King), Wallis, White, D. Smith.

Referee: Andy McDonagh (Northumberland Society)