Aspatria score last to deny Morpeth RFC an away win
Certainly there was no problem whatsoever with the surface at Bower Park as the sides took to the field. What followed was never a classic game, but created some real drama in the final moments.
The home side began brightly, spurning a couple of opportunities before the game settled down.
Morpeth’s solid scrum was proving a handful for the home side. Albeit, the Aspatria backs caused issues, showing some enterprise in their attacking play.
Jake McKay was the player to break the stalemate with two successive long-range efforts in the 21st and 25th minutes to make the score 0-6 in Morpeth’s favour. Those super penalties gave Morpeth the confidence to dominate play and they were worth that 0-6 lead at the end of the first 40 minutes.
The second half began with Aspatria laying siege to the Morpeth line. But the first second-half score went to the away team after some enterprising interplay from centre Sam Hornby and flanker Josh Williams broke the home defence, allowing Alex Thompson to crash over by the posts for McKay to convert.
It became end-to-end stuff with Aspatria touching down on 51 minutes to make the score 5-13.
Morpeth hit back with an excellent score on 57 minutes from Nathan Arkle. It was initiated by an excellent run from full back Kieran Smith, breaking tackles on an inspired break. Then onto winger Miles Gavaghan, who gave the scoring pass to Arkle, who touched down on his opposite wing.
The game was opening out with little to choose between the sides. It was Aspatria who scored next with an unconverted try before Morpeth’s McKay was on the mark again, with another penalty on 66 minutes.
That penalty was Morpeth’s last score. Both sides lost a player to the sinbin, before Aspatria score a converted try on 77 minutes to make the scores 17-21.
A penalty at scrum time followed by a further penalty gave the home side an attacking lineout. Good recycled possession, gained against a tiring defence, saw Aspatria bludgeon their way over in the final play of the game, securing a jubilant home win.
Final score 24-21.