Yellow cards the turning point in away defeat

Chris Vine
Chris Vine

Morpeth 22 Old Crossleyans 20

Crocs had to settle for a losing bonus point after they saw their hopes of a North One East victory hampered by injuries and yellow cards.

Morpeth gained the early initiative but the Broomfield men hit back to lead at the break only to fail to carry that momentum into the second period.

The visitors lost Jack Hammond and Chris Jones to yellow cards midway through the second half and Morpeth re-established a grip which saw them to victory.

The home side got off to a flying start with left wing Turner finishing off a flowing move in the corner after just three minutes.

Chris Vine reduced the arrears with a penalty for offside, but Morpeth were over again after eight minutes through full back Tait, fly half Jinks adding the kick for 12-3.

Crocs were able to take advantage of a string of penalties to bring the score level at 12-12, Vine on target three times, while James Wainwright was denied a try when he was forced into touch following a good break from Boj Sembi and Manny Riaz.

Crocs hit the front just ahead of the break when Morpeth were penalised for a high tackle. A quick tap saw Gareth Ott send a pass out wide before taking the inside ball and setting up Neil Richardson to cross.

Crocs struggled to maintain their momentumn in the second half although a fine move involving Joe Baker, Jones and Ben Robinson gave Jack Hammond a chance but he was kept out by the well-organised home defence.

Then came the turning point with Crocs reduced to 13 men in quick order, Jack Hammond sent to the sidelines for a deliberate knock on with Jones following soon after.

Morpeth took advantage with Forsythe crossing following a driving maul, Jinks converting for 19-17.

Crocs suffered a further setback with Jones failing to re-appear after feeling the effects of an earlier knock, while Riaz was also forced out.

Rob Oliver had earlier been injured in the pre-match warm-up which meant that the visitors were light in the backs.

Nevertheless, Vine added another penalty to give Crocs a slender 20-19 lead with seven minutes to go, but Morpeth responded immediately Jinks adding another three points to seal the win.