Morley duly collected their 5 points in a 29 – 21 victory away to Bridlington in their 6th consecutive victory.
Morley outscored the Seasiders 5 tries to 2 but inexplicably failed to continue to dominate the game after scoring their fifth try in the 45th minute despite Bridling’s prop Wesley Langkilde spending 10 minutes in the bin for a silly push. With the score at 29 – 7 the Morley supporters were hoping to see the Maroons go on to a big score, but it was Bridlington who had more possession and who scored 2 converted tries in the 56th and 77th minute. Bridlington were unable to add to their score and so failed to gain a bonus point which their second half performance deserved.
Morley began as last week with early dominance; Tom Wall blasting a path down the centre, a jinking run down the left from Finlay Dewar, quick-fire handling across the line with Jacob Percival making an extra man to send in Karl Bradshaw after only 2 minutes. The kick was missed, but did at least provide some amusement. The game was dominated by a fierce wind blowing diagonally across the field and this made kicking and throwing in at lineouts difficult.
The wind was making it difficult for both stand offs and a Bridlington mis-kick which failed to find touch sparked Morley’s next try when the ball was fetched from the Morley 22 and through several phases to the Bridlington 22. Chester made the crucial break and once again the ball found its way to Bradshaw, this time via Baylis and Kenneally. Bradshaw followed route one and with 3 defenders on his tail, went over for his second try putting Morley 10 – 0 in the lead after 22 minutes.
There was a nasty injury to the Bridlington prop, Reece Webb who had to leave the field with what looked like a dislocated shoulder. The stoppage seemed to affect Morley’s concentration, as from the re-start, Bridlington broke away from a ruck on the halfway and replacement prop, Josh Thundercliffe went over for Bridlington’s first try by the post. This was converted by scrum half Wragg and Bridlington were suddenly back in the game at 10 – 7 on 27 minutes.
This seemed to remind Morley there was still a game to be won and they increased the tempo of the game. Muscular drives down the centre from Ellis, Hannam and Freeman, created space for Chester to switch the attack to the left. In acres of space, Baylis timed his pass perfectly to hooker Percival. His charge for the line was helped by Dewar who kept the opposition wing out of defensive duties until late. Although tackled by two defenders, Percival still had too much momentum to go over on 33 minutes, pushing the score to 15-7.
Richmond and Wood brought the ball back into the Bridlington half as Morley kept up the pressure. The half finished with a well worked moved centred round the Morley captain. Ellis started the move with a sublime inside pass to Baylis. Baylis rounded his opposite number, shot forward and took out two more defenders with a return pass to Ellis. Clever running from Kenneally allowed him to take the pass from Ellis and head for the try line. He cut inside to beat two defenders before being pulled down a meter from the line. Appropriately, Ellis was on hand to take the final pass from Kenneally and make a 1 metre dash for the line to score Morley’s bonus point try. Chester added icing on the cake with a conversion with the last kick of the half.
The second half started well with strong drives from Hannam, Richmond and Dan Percival. There also powerful runs from Kenneally who timed his runs well from fullback. Morley’s scrum had been dominant during the first half, but they were unable to capitalise on it as Bridlington used the “wheel “ tactic on Morley’s put in. When Bridlington had the put in on their 5 meter line, Morley simply pushed them backwards and no. 6, Brad Freeman was able to drop onto the ball for Morley’s 5th try. Again Chester converted and Morley looked set to build on their 29 – 7 lead on 45 minutes.
However, that was not to be. Whether Morley took their foot off the pedal or Bridlington woke up, the remainder of the half belonged predominately to Bridlington who scored two converted tries to finish the game at 29 – 21 to Morley.
Morley travel to North Shields next Saturday to play Percy Park. The match at Morley last October, was a topsy-turvy sort of a game with Morley storming into a 12 – 0 lead with two tries from Johnnie Graham after only 12 minutes. Park then hit back to score 3 tries of their own to end the first half leading 24 – 12. Colin “had words” at half time and Morley dominated the rest of the game scoring a further 6 tries with Graham getting his hat trick and Hannam scoring two tries in the match he captained. Greg Jones , Finlay White and Jacob Percival also scored tries with Park battling to the end to score a bonus point try on 82 minutes.
Park currently sit in seventh position, possibly a little too close to the relegation zone to be absolutely comfortable. They have 50 points mainly through their excellent home form and have only dropped home points to a defeat at the hands of York and a draw to the league leaders Scarborough. This points to a very tough match for the Maroons. Morley will need to play for the full eighty minutes if they want their fine run of victories to continue.
Updated 23:19 - 10 Feb 2019 by Dennis Elam