Rugby Union: Last minute try robs Morley of vital win

Harri Collier scores for Morley at Wirral. Picture: Dennis Elam
Harri Collier scores for Morley at Wirral. Picture: Dennis Elam

Morley grabbed defeat from the jaws of a vital win when they conceded a last-minute try at Wirral on Saturday.

In a pulsating game, in which the lead changed hands six times, the Maroons kicked a penalty to go 31-29 up with only 90 seconds remaining.

But hopes of victory were dashed when Wirral raced upfield to score a try that leaves Morley still in the bottom three of National Three North with two games of the season left.

The hosts broke the deadlock with a penalty on four minutes but Morley responded with tries from Harri Collier and Ollie Flegg that gave them a 14-3 lead on 17 minutes.

But the end-to-end action continued with two Wirral tries, the first created by Rob Pearl and Matt Loon to put hooker Jack Yacker over on 18 minutes and, following a yellow-card for Morley’s Dan Richardson, the second from Ali Baker that gave the hosts a 15-14 advantage midway through the first half.

Iain Sim and Collier were causing problems for Wirral in the centre while Ollie Hutson and Dante van der Merwe were a threat on the wings but it was number 8 Judd Newell who broke through to score the try that put Morley 21-15 ahead on 28 minutes.

The home side regained the lead with a try from Mark Williams shortly before the interval and Danny Harvey crossed on the hour mark, Jimmy Annetts converting both, to give Wirral a 29-21 lead.

Morley broke through on 73 minutes when Ben Bowen slipped his tackler in the centre of the field and Collier continued the move to give Hutson the ball on the right wing.

He cut inside, wrong-footed the full-back and showed great strength to place the ball over the line. Chester’s conversion cut Wirral’s lead to a point with six minutes remaining.

The visiting fans thought they had clinched the five points that would lift them out of the drop zone when Chester landed a penalty in the closing stages.

However, a poor kick from defence allowed Wirral number 8 Keith Mahon to storm up field past statuesque defenders and he then put Pearl through to score the decisive try, converted by Annetts.