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Home > News > Westoe 26 - Morley 7
Your News Westoe 26 - Morley 7

WESTOE won a fractious and bone-jarring top of the table clash that was not for the squeamish.

Their robust defence, apart for a solitary late lapse, was impregnable as one thudding tackle after another neutered Morley’s mobile and well-coordinated backs.

With both sides being among the quartet heading North One each with five wins from the six games so far, this was always going to be a full-bloodied contest, but it was also punctuated by flashes of temper and a few flying fists that resulted in three Shieldsmen and one Tyke landing in the sin bin.

Fourteen yellow cards so far this season is not a statistic that captain Gareth Nesbit and the coaches will be impressed by.

They will also be disappointed that, having had the upper hand for so much of the game, Westoe did not win by a greater margin, though there was certainly no denying their unbounded commitment..

The bad news from their point of view was that the two other level-pegging teams both won, Hull by 18-0 in their local derby at Beverley and Sheffield Tigers who beat visitors Stockport 46-11. It has the makings of a gruelling season.

Morley, playing down the slope with a fresh breeze behind them, had the better of the first quarter but there was just no way through an unyielding defence.

The tide turned when fly half Sam Rasch kicked a 30-yard drop goal after a Morley lineout ball had been stolen and eight minutes later another throw-in on the five-metre line produced a powerful drive that ended with flanker Kerry Wood bursting over, Rasch converting splendidly from the right flank.

Dunes Adventure Island-sponsored Westoe were now in control and soon afterwards they went further ahead with the best move of the game after possession had been scrambled from a maul midway inside the visitors’ territory.

Rasch’s long pass found outside centre David Haswell who made ground before off-loading to super-charged Kiwi winger Willy Koala who sped 40 yards down the right flank to touch down for his eighth try this campaign without a defender being able to lay a finger on him.

Though Morley may have felt a little miffed to be 15-0 down at the interval, they found themselves pinned back in their own half after the turnaround as Westoe, now enjoying the better of conditions, asserted themselves.

They should have gone further ahead almost immediately but a good cross-field move was spoilt by a sloppy pass to Koala who had space enough and, with their opponents now the ones forced into robust defence, it was down to Rasch to pretty well sew up victory with two penalties.

And the precious two points were clinched in the 68th minute when, rather fortuitously, Graeme Haswell scored.

The ball had flown across field from a five-metre lineout on the left and, although the inside centre was unable to grasp a poor pass, he cleverly kicked the loose ball ahead and dived to ground it near the right corner flag.

This seemed to galvanize the visitors who fought their way into the Westoe 22 for the first time in the second half and then laid siege on the try line, replacement Peter Dadswell finding a gap under the posts for a consolation try, full back Simon Bradshaw converting.

Afterwards Nes said: “Our players had a confidence about them, the defence was excellent and we achieved the win we badly wanted. But I am disappointed that, with the chances we had, we did not score more points and that we let them get on the score sheet.”

*Although superior in set pieces, the Beacon Electrical (NE) Ltd-sponsored Seconds went down 22-19 in an evenly-fought Candy League match at Horden, ruing missed chances and being unable to ground a ball for a fourth try.

The three try scorers were full back Laurie Bridget, number 8 Oliver Stedman and hooker Steve Wilson, with fly half Chris Leycock and winger Sean Bellon kicking a conversion apiece.

*The Vic Young-sponsored Fourths lost 20-3 to Northumberland League hosts Medicals 11after conceding too many penalties and not capitalizing on a good share of possession. Their points came from a drop goal by fly half Stuart Woodhouse.

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