Percy Park score three late tries to secure win over Morpeth

Three tries in the last ten minutes gave Percy Park a bonus point win despite Morpeth having been in the lead 27-7 shortly before half-time.

The visitors opened the scoring after an even first 14 minutes when scrum-half Alex Ball kicked a penalty.

Park struck back immediately with a strong drive into the Morpeth half. A well judged inside pass by centre Ricki Hasnip found Jonny Dubois on his shoulder, and the Park open-side beat two defenders and side-stepped the cover to score under the posts. Alex Richards converted for a 7-3 lead.

Morpeth then had their purple patch with three tries in second quarter, the first coming from centre David Lynn after a well-timed run on the angle broke through the Park defence. Alex Ball kicked the extras to put his side ahead.

The home side attacked from the restart and after several phases of play took the action deep into visitor territory. The ball was shipped left and Park looked to have an overlap but the Morpeth full-back intercepted a wide pass and raced up field with Tom Manley in support to score the try which was again converted by scrum-half Ball.

This seemed to take the wind from Park’s sails as three minutes later skipper Karl Hill scored for Morpeth after a tap penalty five metres from the host’s line. Again the conversion was good and Morpeth seemed to be running away with the game at 27-7.

Alex Richards cut the gap with a penalty before half-time, and at the break, the Park players and coaching staff rushed into the changing rooms for a private word as the visitors stayed on the pitch.

Whatever was said seemed to do the trick as Andy Dunn scored a try for Park on 45 minutes as Morpeth ran out of defenders on the right hand side of the pitch, and the Alex Richards’ conversion took Park within ten points of Morpeth.

Although the visitors had more of the first half action, they were starved of second half possession as Park went through the phases.

With ten minutes to go Park looked to be going down to their second successive home defeat, but they never gave up and when Leo Caulfield went over in the corner, his try took black and whites into losing bonus point territory at 30-22.

Some of the Morpeth players were calling for a forward pass but referee Graham Crozier, who was right on the spot, was having none of it as the video later showed and the try was awarded.

After a brief foray into the Park half, Ball kicked another penalty to take his side further ahead, but although the young scrum-half kicked well from the tee, his kicking from the base of the scrum and kicks to touch were often off target allowing Park to counter attack.

Park had stepped up the pace with inspired substitutions bringing fresh impetus from Harry Watson and Austin Philips in the tight five and when Josh Hedley returned to the field for Karl Thompson, the tall lock had a walk in for Park’s bonus point try, and Paul Spowart’s conversion took Park within a point of the opposition with time almost up.

Morpeth restarted but Park regained possession and drove upfield through several forward drives, sucking in the defence. The ball was then spun left with Hasnip finding wing Caulfield who then smartly popped the ball back inside to Hasnip rather than being bundled into touch. The burly inside centre drove over the line for the try to the delight of players and supporters both. Paul Spowart kicked the conversion to go ahead 36-30 as the final whistle was blown.

Again Park’s fitness meant they were strong in the last ten minutes and able to exploit gaps in the opposition defence right up to the final whistle.

This weekend Percy Park travel to Pocklington for week five of the league campaign.