Morley 3 Wirral 29

THE first half on this cold afternoon in West Yorkshire, played on a heavy pitch, resulted in a dour first half as Wirral strove to get their backs into the game.

Morley, who had brought in a number of new players, belied their position near the bottom of the league as they played with great determination and for the first 25 minutes played the better rugby.

It was no surprise therefore that they took the lead with a penalty through Dante van der Merew.

Gradually, Wirral began to use their possession by kicking downfield to gain territory when the Morley backs fumbled their catches.

The pressure began to tell and from a line out on 10m executed a training ground move.

Sam Broadbent crashed over the line to score and James Annetts added the conversion; 3 - 7 to the away team.

Wirral exerted further pressure on Morley but no further points were scored before half time.

After some choice comments from coach Matt Cairns at the break, Wirral commenced the second half with greater control and purpose and the forwards dominated the line out and scrums.

Wirral extended their lead in the 52nd minute when from a 5m scrum they pushed the Morley pack back over their try line and Rob Pearl touched down. Morley had no answer to Wirral's forward power and found themselves penned in their own half.

Pressure on the Morley line saw Ryan Higginson plunge over the line and give Wirral some comfort.

The try bonus point came when Craig Harvey timed an excellent pass to Rob Pearl who cut through the Morley defence to score under the posts; James Annetts converted to extend the Wirral lead to 3-24.

With four minutes to go, Wirral flanker Chris Burrows was tackled and there was immediate concern; play was halted and it appears that Chris may have broken and/or dislocated his ankle.

After a period of time a stretcher emerged and he was taken to the changing rooms pending the ambulance arriving.

After the long delay It was suggested that with only a short time left to play and the fate of the match decided, that the match should end but Morley wished to play on.

In the final minute of the game and with a 5m line out, the ball went to the back of the line and caught by Wirral's Tom Parry who was unmarked and he had the simple task of touching down for Wirral's fifth try and a comfortable second half, coming out on top, 3-29.

Wirral remain third in the table and next week have a home fixture against Cleckheaton, possible 2pm kick off.