Morley 19 - 36 York
Morley lose second home gain to a good York side
Morley looked to build on their away victory at West Leeds, but despite having parity in possession and territory were always behind in the score line and lacked the precision in attack needed to break a strong York defence. Although Morley’s defence was reasonably secure, there were still too many missed tackles which allowed strong running from wing Singleton and flanker Goulding to power through for tries.
The opening 15 minutes were slightly shaded by Morley but number 6 Shane Goulding burst tackles through on halfway. Openside flanker Campbell Thompson looked likely to score but was dragged down just short by Isherwood. However, Goulding was in support and went on to score the first try for York. Liam Hessay added the conversion to put York 7 – 0 in front.
Morley hit back but were unable to penetrate a well organised defence. Isherwood and Graham were unable to make progress down the right and the bludgeons of Rogers and Hannam failed to breach the defence in the centre. York showed how it should be done when left wing Singleton caught a poor kick from defence. With space to build up speed, the powerful winger shrugged off two tackles before going in at the corner. Hessay hit the post in his conversion attempt and York went into a 12 – 0 lead after 25 minutes.
Morley finally got onto the scoreboard when Ellis and Maryniak carved some space for Isherwood on the touchline. His sprint down the line was nearly brought to a halt by a tap tackle from the pursuing Thompson, but a couple of athletic rolls and he was able to touch down. He was unable to add the two points, but were back in the game at 5 – 12.
The 12 point gap was quickly restored when a simple passing movement followed by a powerful from Singleton saw him go in for his second try. Hessay added his second conversion with a good touchline kick on 33 minutes.
The clock was ticking towards half time when Morley scored their second try. An excellent pass from Baylis and deceptive running from Ellis created space for Maryniak to follow Isherwood’s route down the touchline to score a well worked try. Isherwood’s conversion made the score 12 – 19 at halftime and all to play for in the second half.
York started the second half the better but after 10 minutes Morley had re-asserted themselves and looked on to score as York were giving away penalties to cope with the pressure. A score now might have won the game. However, Morley were unable to provide the telling pass to score. They lost an attacking 5m lineout and Hessay cleared to halfway. Back came Morley and pounded the line again. As the ball was been passed along the line, Hessay managed to intercept it and race the length of the pitch to score under the post. His conversion made it 26-12 on 61 minutes.
Immediately after the re-start centre Johnnie Graham charged down an attempted clearance and followed up to score. Isherwood’s second conversion brought the gap down to one score at 19-26 on 63 minutes. Morley should have gone on to squeeze another try out of the game, but it was York who finished stronger. From a scrum on their own 22, flanker Goulding went blind and evaded two would be tacklers to race down the line to score a memorable try on 70 minutes. They sealed the game with a try by lock Luke Stockton on 77 minutes to claim the game 36 – 19.
York did enough to win the game, but Morley can point to their long injury list contributing to the defeat. Jason Kenneally, Steve Graham, Tomas Phipps, Ollie Flegg, Mike Shannon and Connor Jordan were all unavailable due to injuries. Two players picked up injuries on Saturday and this resulted in Scott Turner watching the match instead of playing and a half fit Mark Chester going onto the bench as no one else was available to fill the number 18 spot.
Morley face a tough match next Saturday when they travel to Pocklington. Pocklington have won all of their three matches and sit behind Morpeth and York on points difference. Morley won a tense match at Pocklington last season and will be hoping to come away with their second away win.