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Chris Creber out for season as depleted Malton & Norton crash
12:33pm Wednesday 6th February 2013 in Sport
The Ryedale side were missing six first-team regulars but put up a fighting first-half performance to trail only 8-3 at the break before capitulating in the second period.
The defeat came at a cost too as influential player-coach Creber was stretchered off with a serious knee injury late in the first half.
Club spokesman Bill Laidler said they did not yet know the full extent of the injury – thought to be ligament damage – but that he would miss the rest of the campaign.
Laidler added: “It had a big impact on us, but there are people available to step in.”
Malton started well enough in West Yorkshire, producing some excellent drives into the heart of the home defence, and, when Morley were penalised at a ruck, Ali Heard kicked the visitors ahead.
It soon became apparent Malton’s lineout was going to struggle to gain possession, and, while good spoiling work ensured the damage was limited, Morley levelled the scores with a well-struck penalty on nine minutes and started to turn up the heat.
On the half hour, Morley used their speedy backs to good effect, spreading the ball wide to take advantage of a missed tackle on the right wing for a try in the corner and an 8-5 lead.
Five minutes later, Malton produced the move of the game – but it ended in agony.
Winning the ball on halfway, they worked their way along the touchline before fly-half Creber broke and cleverly chipped the defence.
Looking a certainty to regain possession and score, Creber suddenly fell awkwardly and was eventually stretchered off.
Without their general, Malton’s challenge fell away after the break as the home side cut loose with some incisive breaks at regular intervals.
Six tries ensued as Morley maintained their push for one of the top two places in the league.
Malton now face the league’s two bottom sides in successive weeks, with a trip to Durham City this Saturday followed by a home game against Darlington seven days later.
Star centre Ryan Lonsdale is still available for selection despite his sending-off against leaders Beverley last month. A disciplinary hearing has been set for February 18 but officials are hoping no further action will be taken after he was suspended by the club for two weeks.
Malton: A Heard, R Dempsey, H Shepherd, R Lonsdale, C Ramsay, C Creber (G Harrison), T Boyle, P Dobson (R Featherstone), S Thompson, A Turnbull, J Rounthwaite, T Casey, G Ramsay, H Barnes, S Triffitt.