Game at Ilkley was a trip too far for Morpeth rugby

Ilkley 42Morpeth RFC 19It was a trip too far as Morpeth made yet another visit down south to play high flying Ilkley, who ran out comfortable winners against a much changed Northumbrian side, writes Colin Green.

By Keith Hamblin
Monday, 28th February 2022, 10:28 am
Morpeth Rugby.
Morpeth Rugby.

This was one of the designated rearranged Saturday's which ultimately hit Morpeth hard with the side showing a number of enforced changes from last week's squad.

Despite the recent storms the conditions were good when the home side immediately took the game to Morpeth.

After three minutes strong running by the fluid Ilkley backs saw full back Telford sustaining a head injury which meant he took no further part in the game. This necessitated skipper Elliott moving from scrum half to full back and Ayliffe coming on at 9. It was a massive reshuffle for Morpeth but both Ayliffe and Elliott performed admirably throughout.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

In the first half it was fly half Ben Hornby who kept the score ticking over by converting penalties that were interspersed with Ilkley touching down for three converted tries.

Hornby's penalty before halftime cut the deficit and made the score 21-12 after the first 40 minutes.

The second half saw Morpeth starting well. A dominant Morpeth scrum, which was a feature throughout the game, saw a penalty awarded to a confident Mitford Road pack in the Ilkley 22. Another scrum was chosen, which despite Morpeth's dominance the home side were, on this occasion, awarded a penalty of their own. A crucial call at this stage of the game.

It was from then that the home side pulled away. They went on to score three further converted tries, one being an interception by their fly half, feeding out to the winger, which gave them an excellent long distance score.

From the last play of the game Morpeth finally scored a try of their own. An attacking line out, and further driving play, saw winger Jack Wood crash over wide out for a try which Hornby excellently converted.

Scoops Man of the match - prop Ben Sandall, who happily returned to full fitness and who performed admirably.

The results leaves Morpeth ninth in the North One table with 49 points from their 19 games. On Saturday (March 5) they are home to tenth placed Pocklington in a game which kicks off at 3pm.