Superb start to 2019 – Morley score 7 tries in an sparkling display
Morley made the best possible start to 2019 with a 5 point win at fifth placed York. A hat trick of tries from right wing Karl Bradshaw, a brace from Thomas Isherwood who was selected at left wing and a try each for Sam Brown and Luke Bradley gave Morley a 39 – 19 victory over York.
The return of Chester, Ellis and Richmond gave Morley much needed experience and they played with confidence and zip from the very start. The continued good form of Kenneally allowed Stephens the opportunity of playing him at fullback and giving Isherwood a chance on the left wing. The return of Tom Richmond allowed Mick Shannon the rare luxury of a week off to recover from illness with Sam Brown moving into 2nd row and Kerry Wood wearing the number 6 shirt.
Morley kicked off uphill and made their intentions clear from the very start when Karl Bradshaw made a determined run through the midfield shrugging off several would-be tacklers. The first score came from a break by Chester on the halfway line. Kerry was in support and released Sam Brown from the York 22 for a lung bursting run to score in the corner after 4 minutes.
The initial stages of the game were played in mid-field with defences on top. Morley were fortunate when a penalty attempt went wide on 8 minutes but Morley were beginning to turn the screw in the scrum. Sewell’s pressure on the York 8 nearly led to Kerry stealing the ball, but he could not quite hold onto the ball.
However, the Morley supporters did not have to wait long for the next score. Isherwood made the initial yards up the left touch line before Sewell and Chester found Baylis in the centre. A delightful dummy and pass gave Kenneally a chance to score from the 5m line, but he played safe and passed to Bradshaw on the right wing to go over on 15 minutes. Although converting only 5 of the 7 tries, Isherwood’s excellent touchline conversion pushed the score to 12 -0.
Morley continued to press but York did very well to defend their 5m line and gradually fought their way into the Morley 22. York for the first time began to exert sustained pressure on Morley and Morley suffered 2 yellow cards in two minutes, 24 and 26 minutes into the game. The first to hooker Jacob Percival was unlucky as he went to tackle the ball carrier at a lineout; the second to prop Greg Jones was a little more deserved! Fortunately Morley had 2 adequate replacements with hooker Simon Ridgway and prop Tom Wall. However, defending with 13 men was always a tough call and scrum half Toby Atkin went over untouched for York’s first points from a 5m scrum on 27 minutes. Fullback George Davies kicked the extra two points to narrow the gap to 12 - 7.
York were unable to build on this score and despite having only 13 men. Morley took the game to York. Isherwood charged up the left wing to relieve the pressure on Morley and Harrison Baylis forced a turnover in midfield. He hacked the ball on for Chester to collect and pass to Isherwood who ran along the York 5m line outpacing the defence for a memorable try on 31 minutes.
York tried hard in the remaining period of their numerical supremacy, but Morley held out well. It was disappointing then, when back to full strength a straight forward attack by York found a huge gap in the Morley defensive line and stand-off Liam Hessay was able to glide in for York’s second try on 39 minutes. The conversion was successful and York went in only 14 – 19 down.
Morley appeared undaunted by the last minute try and aided by the slope attacked from the re-start. Kenneally and Bradshaw did well on the right before a dazzling piece of footwork from prop Dan Percival launched an attack down the centre. Sam Brown continued the move before Ellis and Baylis transferred the ball to Isherwood on the left wing. Isherwood tried a chip and chase. York looked to have it covered but Isherwood’s pace and pressure forced the ball free for Luke Bradley to pick up the ball and go over for Morley’s 4th and bonus point try on 44 minutes.
York hit back immediately. A penalty catch and drive was well co-ordinated by York and backrow Luke Stockton claimed the try on 48 minutes to bring the score to 24-19 in Morley’s favour.
However, York now began to tire playing up the slope. Following forward charges from Jones and Ridgway in the centre the ball was quickly move out to Isherwood on the left wing. Another sparkling run from halfway took him deep into York territory and another chip caused panic. Although Isherwood appeared to be tackled late, Karl Bradshaw was on hand to finish off and score his second try on 53 minutes to move the score onto 29 – 19.
Bradshaw brought up his hat trick in an unconventional way for a winger. Following an inch perfect kick to touch from Chester, Morley went for a catch and drive attempt. York did well to hold the first and second phase drives from Morley, but here was nobody to stop Bradshaw going over at the side on 62 minutes.
Both sides continue to play good rugby in the last quarter, but it took a classy finish from Isherwood to turn pressure into points in the final minutes with a determined try on the left touch line beating off two defenders to bring the score to 39 - 19.
Morley will be well pleased with their performance and the result of Saturday’s match. A couple of players may return for next Saturday’s match which will give head coach Stephens just the sort of problems he likes.
The next match is at home against Pocklington with a 3.00pm kick off.
Good match report from the York Web site is printed below.
(He has the sequence of tries wrong. Morley got their 3rd try after York’s 1st try)
There are also some photographs on the York web site by Rob Long.
Reversing the result from earlier in the season, York had a bad day at the office.
Match Report by Joseph Maud.
York RUFC 19 vs Morley RFC 39
January 5th and York welcome Morley RUFC to Clifton Park where there is a chill in the air but the conditions for free flowing rugby are excellent. York included three players new to the 1st XV this season - Will Scholey returning from Otley, former Colts Joe Simpson and Freddie Smith, a young man who has been performing well for the second team all season.
Morley started the game and Luke Stockton took the ball very well and set up for York to exit their half. However, good Morley pressure on the York 10 resulted in a poor kick, allowing Morley to gather the ball and attack York. Morley built some very good phases of play and looked dangerous, spreading the ball left and right, but for now, the York defence hold strong. The attack came to an end when the evergreen Andy Ellis of Morley carried the ball forward, but was held up by York’s Will Scholey and York were awarded the scrum.
Most the game was being played in the middle of the field, with both teams looking like they needed a bit of fortune to break the deadlock. Morley had a lineout on the halfway line; there was good pressure in the lineout from York’s Lewis Hannibal forcing Morley to spill the ball backwards. The Morley prop was first to react and gather the ball. Morley recycled well and the ball was spread into the hands of Mark Chester who found his inside centre Andy Ellis running a great line and splitting the York defence like the Red Sea. He found a great offload to Morley’s scrum half, who then made the final pass to allow a Morley try in the corner. The conversion was missed from out wide; York 0 – Morley 5.
From the restart York gathered the ball and started to build pressure. Strong carrying from both Darren Rutherford and Shane Goulding took York forward and forced Morley into giving away a penalty. York opted to go for goal, but the kick by George Davies was pushed wide.
The game continued with neither team really grabbing a hold of the tie and possession of the ball swung from side to side. This all changed when a bit of class came from the Morley back line. They spread the ball to the left touchline, before some great hands and running lines back across the field left the York defence confused and the Morley right winger scored in the corner. This time the conversion was successful and Morley lead 0 -12. Morley then gathered from the kick off and scored almost straight away off the back of some poor York defence. This looked like it could be a tough day for the home side; York 0 – 19 Morley.
York started to grow into the game - again with strong carries from Luke Stockton and the excellent Shane Goulding. This resulted in Kerry Wood of Morley doing what he does best and trying to slow the York ball down by lying on the wrong side. However, the referee saw what he was up to and awarded York the penalty. York kicked to the corner and drove from the lineout. The maul was collapsed by Morley hooker Jacob Percival and the referee asked him to take ten minutes rest with a yellow card. York kicked to the corner again and from the lineout formed the driving maul. Again this is brought down by Morley and one of their props is sent to join Percival in the bin; Morley are down to 13 men. From the resulting penalty, York took the scrum. Shane Goulding picked up from 8 metres and offloaded to York’s craftiest of veterans, Toby Atkin who crossed the whitewash to open York’s scoring. George Davies kicked the conversion. 7 – 19.
With a 2 man advantage, York started to dominate the game. Sam Forbes, filling the 12 shirt to the absolute brim carried well and was held up just short of the line. York were awarded a 5 metre scrum. From the base, Toby Atkin passed to Liam Hessay who found a small gap and crossed just to the right of the posts to score. Conversion was again successful from George Davies; 14 – 19 at half time.
After a promising start to the second half for York, it was Morley who got the first score. A clever chip and chase from their left winger left the York defence scrambling back. York’s Rich Downey did very well to get back and cover, but was beaten by an offload and Morley scored their bonus point try. 14 – 24.York restarted and some solid work on the ground from Darren Rutherford won York a penalty. They kicked to the corner again and set up the driving maul. This time Morley cannot bring it down and Luke Stockton latched onto the ball and got over for the score. The conversion attempt is unsuccessful and York now trailed 19 – 24. That was York’s final score of the day and it seemed that they had run out of steam. Morley really got a grip of the game and started dominating possession, going on to score a further 3 tries. The final score for the game was York 19 – Morley 39.
A very disappointing day at the office for York, who are still waiting on several senior players to return and help boost the squad. However, take nothing away from Morley, they were strong across the whole team and fully deserved their victory.
photos : http://www.yorkrufc.co.uk/photos/york-v-morley-5th-january-2019-857219.html
Updated 19:09 - 6 Jan 2019 by Dennis Elam
Updated 13:21 - 6 Jan 2019 by Ian Coe