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Malton & Norton blow good start in third loss on the trot
12:51pm Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in Sport
Player-coach Chris Creber’s men fell 19-17 to Morley in North One East at The Gannock with poor handling and bad decision-making blighting them throughout and particularly after they had pressed hard and set up a number of promising positions in the first quarter.
That profligacy left them with nothing to show for their efforts on the scoreboard and, when fly-half Creber was forced to leave the game after 27 minutes with an arm injury, Malton’s play deteriorated dramatically.
Morley, having missed a kickable penalty minutes earlier, took the lead after 36 minutes when some woeful midfield tackling by Malton gave full-back Mark Cooke a clear run to the line. Fly-half Scott Hayes converted and the visitors were in the lead.
That advantage was short lived, however, and the Malton pack showed their teeth. Setting up a maul 20 metres out from the Morley line, they drove the visitors back at a rapid rate of knots for hooker Alex Whitaker to get the touchdown under the posts.
Full-back Ian Cooke added the conversion to level the scores. But from the kick off Malton again showed their fragile side. The innocuous kick was allowed to bounce into touch, Morley regained possession and, after two phases following the line-out, a cross kick to the unmarked right wing was well taken and handed on to Mark Cooke for his second try of the game as the visitors led 12-7 at the half.
Malton had to make much better use of the more than adequate possession they were winning but the lesson had not been learned as they conceded again ten minutes into the half.
Poor tackling was again to blame as Morley hooker James Frost strolled through for his side’s third try. The conversion was a formality and Malt were now 12 points behind.
They were still monopolising possession and, in flashes, showed some good rugby. But shoddy handling of the final pass let them down once more on a couple of occasions.
The pack drove hard and appeared to have been successful, only for the referee to rule that the ball had not been grounded, while a break from defence looked like producing a certain score but, with a clear run to the line, the final pass went to ground and another opportunity was lost.
The reward did eventually come when Morley failed to control the ball at the rear of a scrum on their line. Malton scrum-half Dan Cattle got the first hand on the ball as his side forced their way back into the game.
But, lacking a cutting edge, it was again down to the forwards to try to produce the goods late on.
In the final minute they decided to run a penalty five metres from the Morley line. Once more they set up a maul and moved forward with Whitaker in control and it was fitting that he should get his second score of the game to bring Malton to within two points. The conversion, which would have tied the game, missed and the final whistle went.
Malton: Cooke, Newitt, Armitage, Ramsay, Clark, Creber (Woodhouse), Cattle, Dobson, Whitaker, Salisbury, Webster, Rounthwaite, Coe (Garland 35-40mins), Barnes, Triffitt.