Morpeth 17, Wirral 16

THE last kick of the game defeated Wirral on their first ever visit to Morpeth who with a side missing many first team players put in a courageous display.

It was Morpeth who started the stronger as from the first scrum they went on the narrow side and caught Wirral off guard to race in from 60m to score, the try was not converted.

During the rest of the first half it was Wirral who had the majority of the possession and territory but could not break through the home defence.

Wirral had the chance to take the lead with two kickable penalties but the normal reliable James Annetts was off target.

Wirral were giving away too many penalties and fly half Ben Hornby took advantage with three well taken penalties although in between these kicks James Annetts managed to pull one back for Wirral to leave the score 14-3 in the home sides favour at half-time.

The second half saw Wirral improve their percentage of possession and territory and two further penalties from James Annetts reduced the arrears to 14-9.

The final minutes saw Wirral camped in the Morpeth 20m area and much pressure on the home line enabled Matt Loon to force his way over to equalise the scores and then take the lead for the first time with the conversion from James Annetts.

From the kick off with one minute to go the ball was dropped by Wirral close to the touchline and from the resultant scrum Morpeth spread the ball wide.

The attack was stopped as the centre was tackled but the tackle by James Annetts was deemed as high, even though the Morpeth player was slipping down to the turf and James was sent off for his second yellow card.

From this position Hornby converted the penalty to give Morpeth the victory as the referee then blew for time.

Whilst this was Wirral’s fifth loss of the season they have all been by small margins and given the number of players making their debut it was a courageous performance and Wirral look forward now to the next match at home next week.