Chester leads way as Morley RFC return to winning ways

Ben Bowen dives over for a try for Morley RFC at Lymm. Picture: Dennis Elam
Ben Bowen dives over for a try for Morley RFC at Lymm. Picture: Dennis Elam

After 11 straight defeats Morley RFC finally shook off their blues when they held on in a tense finish to beat Lymm 40-38 in National Three North.

Mark Chester led the way with a personal haul of 20 points from four penalties and conversions of all four tries scored by the Maroons as they enjoyed their first away victory of the season and only their second win anywhere.

Chester’s first penalty put Morley ahead on four minutes before Lymm replied through Cormac Nelson’s kick.

Chester slotted over a further two penalties to make it 9-3 at the end of a good first quarter.

Morley’s forwards were under pressure in the scrum, but prominent in the loose, with Brandon Hannam, Tom Richmond and Dan Richardson putting in some energy sapping runs. Mike Ashford and Sam Lawton combined well as a pair of flankers and although Josh Greatrix did not have to take a single line-out, he put in a powerful performance.

Lymm came back into the game with a try on 24 minutes after a clever dummy by scrum-half Andy Davies. Nolan’s conversion nudged them ahead.

They extended their lead eight minutes later when a straight forward backs move from a scrum saw full-back Tom Bray go over.

But Morley’s aggressive defence was causing Lymm problems and when the ball went loose on half-way following a tackle by James Davies, scrum-half Ben Bowen was first to react with a splendid exhibition of juggling before racing to the line to score. Chester’s kick narrowed the deficit to one point as the teams closed the half.

Morley started the second half in confident mood and Bowen was again first to react to a loose ball, kicking ahead and winning a race to claim his second try, which was converted.

Lymm reacted positively and the Maroons lost Paddy Fisher-Naylor to a yellow card as they came under pressure, but they held on and scored next despite being a man down as Henry Shiell and Harrison Baylis showed pace down the left, Bowen found Chester and his break was backed up by Tim Spears who raced in for a fine try.

Two minutes later, Andy Funnell intercepted a pass on his own 22 and stormed up field to claim Morley’s fourth try. Chester’s conversion made it 37-17 on 62 minutes.

Lymm were not done, however, and with Morley possibly remembering their collapse against Waterloo, their game became rather tense.

Two tries following forward pressure and quick hands along the backs together with two excellent touchline conversions saw Lymm right back in contention at 37-31 before Chester calmed Morley nerves with his fourth penalty.

Still Lymm kept going as they came up with a converted try five minutes into injury-time. But that was the last play with the Maroons winning 40-38.