Cavaliers come out on top of exciting game
Working off the Festive excess
Morley Cavaliers vs Harrogate Georgians 12/01/2019
Following the disappointment of the previous week, the Cavaliers looked to pick themselves up again, and continue their “new year, new me” mantra as they looked to shed the festively plump look, which had been adopted by all. With a number of players, returning from injury the Cavs brought a strong side to Stratstone stadium to take on the Harrogate Georgians.
The action started immediately with the Georgians scoring off the very first set play. With a number of Morley players clearly still in holiday mood the Harrogate backs scythed through to open the scores. 5 – 0.
This seemed to shock the Cavs into playing. Some strong carries from the Phippsy and Freeman created the space out wide. The ball was fed along the backline into the arms of the jungle VIP Jordan. Tackled just short of the line, Mowg’s manoeuvred his vine like arms into ungodly positions to reach out and dot the ball down.
What followed was a tough 20 minutes where Morley struggled to contain the backs of the Georgians, despite some great defensive efforts from Johnnie Graham, Jack Price and George Kelly the Cavs conceded two tries 15 – 5.
Again, following a drop in concentration, the Cavaliers started to play and establish a foothold within the game. Barrelling runs from the man bear Phipps, immovable object Tom Wall and the ginger ninja Johnnie Graham had the Cavs camped within the Harrogate 5m line. Seeking inspiration from his contemporaries Ham, composed himself, like the little engine that could (“I think I can, I think I can…”) he pumped himself up with a dose of courage and charge…. Receiving the ball from Knowles and looking like this was his moment in the sun; dreaming of frolicking in fields of wheat, Ham was rudely awakened when he was hit back so hard that he lost his strong and stable grip on the ball with this popping straight up into the air. The situation was quickly rescued by Rich Knowles, who uncharacteristically put his body on the line and jumped like Yao Ming to retrieve the ball from the air and fall on the try line. Knowles made the conversion 15 -12. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnUv7GgqTxE)
That brought about half time. With the boys expected a slight dressing down from the always sunny John Firth, they were swiftly taken aback as he calmly explained the small tweaks that were required to win the game. Sat on their heels waiting for the John to explode with his characteristic anger the boys half listened as John outlined the tactical changes he wanted them to make.
In the second half, the Cav’s took hold of the game. Strong carries from the forwards meant that the Cavs were able to dominate both possession and territory. In one promising play, Phipps was able to offload out the back to McFaul with a try looking almost certain. Unfortunately, the ground under McFaul was the only boggy part of ground on the whole field, and strangely only impacted the Irishman allowing the covering defenders to fell him before he had taken 5 steps. The pressure was beginning to tell and from a scum within the Harrogate 22m, the Cavs fed the ball along the backline to unleash Connor Jordan. Mowgs was able to overpower his opposite number to score in the corner like an overeager Boris Johnson running over a small Japanese child. 15 – 17 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBt8AoLBCoo)
With Harrogate clearly rattled by the physical carrying of the Cavaliers, Morley looked to crank up the pressure. More big carries from Denison, Wall and Price had the Georgians deep within their 22 again. With the Cavs knocking on the door like a persistent door to door salesman the pressure eventually told allowing Brad Freeman to squeeze himself over the line. 15 – 22.
With Harrogate looking to re-establish themselves in the game beginning to express themselves again and put the Cavaliers under pressure. Looking the release their backs off the top of a line out, the Harrogate 10 looks to spread the ball. Just as the he sought to release the ball, his pocket was picked by Reece Maryniak who popped the ball in the air before intercepting the ball and trotting over the line in a brazen act of daylight robbery, which will not improve the opinion of the Harrogate locals in the Character of Morley men. 15 - 27
The Cavaliers control of the game continued with the Cavs finding themselves once again camped on the Harrogate Try line. As inevitable as a family argument during a game of monopoly ,Jack Price was eventually able to squeeze through the smallest of gaps to put the Cav’s in control. Knowles made the conversion 15 – 34
Famous last words? Nearly oh so nearly. Harrogate came to life just as the Cav’s seemed to personally offend the referee giving away penalty after penalty for poor discipline. Despite the largest shot ever made by Rich Knowles Harrogate were able to score in the corner and had their tails up. 20 – 34
The Cavaliers were hanging on, seemingly forgetting how to play rugby and with a number of players pulling up with cramp. With the final play of the game Harrogate had a penalty 10m out from the Cav’s line, from the quick tap the ball was fed to their tighthead prop, employing his now world famous turnstile tackling method Ham was able to avoid making any contact whatsoever allowing him to score under the posts. In an extreme act of petulance, George Kelly attempted to charge down the following drop kick conversion, from behind, and act the referee to exception to awarding Harrogate a penalty to restart the game and immediately put the Cavs deep within their own 22. 27 - 34
Not all heroes wear capes but sometimes they do resemble a bean stalk with the human mixer Ben Clay coming off the bench to save the day stealing the following line out against the head allowing Knowles to pop the ball into touch and secure the win for the Cavs.
All in all it was an enjoyable game for all to play in and was one of the strongest performances by the Cavs for many years. Credit must be given to both sides for playing the game in the correct spirit throughout.