Morley vs Harrogate
This win against already relegated Morley and Lymm’s home defeat ensured that Harrogate will finish the League programme in third position.
Morley competed spiritedly throughout but were well contained by Harrogate’s defence. Harrogate’s four tries underlined their ability to finish clinically when it mattered.
From the onset, it was clear that Harrogate’s forward superiority would be the crucial difference between the sides. Morley’s scrum was under pressure throughout the game and Harrogate stole made an early individual break from defence and chipped ahead into the Harrogate in goal area. However Harrogate’s Danny Matthews covered well and won the race for the touch down.
Harrogate’s first try came in the 27th minute and followed quick line-out ball. Centre, Euean Miller’s break split the home defence and he ran strongly before delivering a scoring pass to the supporting Keane Naylor. This was shortly followed by Morley’s best scoring opportunity of the match. Harrogate winger, Harry Jukes made a dazzling break but his pass was intercepted by Morley winger, Scott Turner. He sprinted quickly and strongly but was overtaken and tackled by Luke White just short of the goal line.
As half time approached, a Matthews break forced the home defence to go offside and, from the subsequent penalty, Evan Woodworth drove over for his maiden Harrogate try. There was still more to come. From the restart, Harrogate won turnover ball in their own half and Harry Barnard scorched through the home defence for a try converted by White.
Both sides made tactical positional changes in the second half. Harrogate brought on Paddy Hebblethwaite at scrum with Matthews moving to stand-off. However Morley made the most telling change by bringing van der Merwe up to stand off in place of veteran stalwart, Mark Chester. This led to more threatening home attacks although they never seriously threatened Harrogate’s defence. Harrogate’s front five were consistently in control and, in the final move of the match, quick line out ball was spread to the right wing. Barnard again showed his strength and speed to burst through the cover and pass to Olli Rosillo who side-stepped his way through for a converted try.
Morley: van der Merwe, Hogg, Knowles, Ellis, Turner, Chester, Sewell, White, Chivers, Jones, Richmond, Brown, Roxby, Lawton, Smyth. Subs:- Price, Phipps, Stevenson
Harrogate: Rosillo, Barnard, Naylor, Miller, Jukes, White, Matthews, Peace, Maycock, Ward, Brady, Dodds,
J Coser, Morat, Heaton. Subs:- Woodworth, Larder, Hebblethwaite
Referee: Jack Le Feuvre (Northern)
Match report by Bill Barrack