MORLEY go in search of their seventh successive victory as they aim to end the year on a high this Saturday when they make the short trip to Old Crossleyans (kick-off 2.15pm).
The Maroons are the form team in North One East and last week’s emphatic 36-5 success over promotion favourites Wheatley Hills has thrown the race wide open.
When Morley suffered defeat to Cleckheaton on October 20, many were writing off their chances of a top-two finish but five league wins on the bounce has rekindled their promotion aspirations.
Dave Murray’s men are now just six points behind second-placed Wheatley Hills, who won their opening 11 matches but have now suffered back-to-back defeats against new leaders Beverley and Morley.
Beverley overcame Sheffield last week and are now nine points clear of Hills at the halfway point in the season but that result allowed Morley to leapfrog the South Yorkshire side into third place.
Morley will be looking to make amends for their home defeat to Crossleyans back in September but will be wary of the fact that the home side have only been beaten twice in the last 10 games and are just four points behind the Maroons in fifth.
Morley’s victory over Hills last week was made more impressive as they achieved it despite being without leading points scorers Simon Bradshaw and Mark Cook.
However, they appeared unaffected as they ran in 26 unanswered points in the opening 28 minutes and went on to build a 36-0 lead before Hills replied with a consolation try.
It was a fine all-round effort from the Maroons, as winger Koby Gyasi ran in a brace of tries, while scrum-half Sean Dadswell and centre Scott Hayes also crossed.
Hayes was also impeded when he had a clear run to the line for a second touchdown, which resulted in the referee awarding a penalty try.
Mark Chester took over the kicking duties and landed four conversions and a penalty goal.
The league takes a fortnight’s break for Christmas and new year following Saturday’s round of matches, which sees Wheatley Hills host Durahm, Sheffield entertaining Cleckheaton and leaders Beverley at Morpeth and Morley’s first game of the new year is home to Morpeth on January 5.