Morley 22 Wirral 19

THERE was doubt earlier in the week as to whether this game was to be played and after a pitch inspection in the morning the game was played.

The pitch was already heavily cut up and underfoot conditions were very, very heavy.

Wirral lost the ball from the kick off when the ball was ripped from a forward and this set up Morley in the Wirral 20m area.

From there they moved forward and were denied a try when held up over the line but from the resultant scrum they pushed Wirral back and number eight Brandon Harrison scored and converted by Mark Chester.

A penalty from 30m gave the home side a 10-0 lead after 11 minutes, this lead was going to prove the decisive part of the game.

On 15 minutes, when venturing into the Morley half for the first time, Wirral lost centre, Sam Broadbent with a shoulder injury which meant a forward now having to play in the backs.

Gradually, Wirral worked their way into the game and good control of the ball saw the forwards advance deep into the home 20m area where quick passing down the backs saw Mark Williams touch down in the corner, the conversion was missed. 10-5.

Wirral were now in the ascendancy but could not convert pressure into points and eventually lost possession and Morley cleared downfield, where two further mistakes give the home side a foothold in the Wirral 20m area.

The Morley scrum edged forward and the ball was kicked through by Wirral, which resulted in a penalty try being awarded to Morley and Wirral also suffering a sin bin to scrum half, Josh Stead, even though it was the wrong person. 17-5 to Morley at half time.

As the ground conditions worsened it became more of a forwards battle as each team sought to make a few metres.

Meaningful territory was only gained by astute kicking and on the hour mark a line out to Wirral some 15m out gave the away team vital ball and a training ground move saw Dan Harvey cross under the posts and the conversion from brother, Craig reduced the deficit to 17-12 after 61 minutes.

The Morley lead was extended to 10 points two minutes later when a break in the centre set up by Morley captain, Chester's enabled winger Danny Thomas to finish off the move with a try in the corner, not converted.

The last quarter of the game saw Wirral putting Morley under pressure but it was not until the 78th minute that Wirral scored again through Craig Harvey wide out but he converted to leave the score 22-19.

Much as Wirral tried in the final minutes they could not break through the Morley defence and all 30 players were relieved to hear the final whistle as they could hardly tell one set of players from another.