Rugby Union: Morley withstand Shields’ try spree

Nick Green scored two on his home debut for Morley. Pic: Dennis Elam
Nick Green scored two on his home debut for Morley. Pic: Dennis Elam

Four tries from visiting winger Phil Shields were not enough for Guisborough as hosts Morley celebrated a 42-27 victory to tighten their grip on second spot in North One East.

In the first ever meeting between the teams at Scatcherd Lane, Shields’ excellent individual effort was out-done by the hosts’ haul, which included a hat-trick from Iain Sim, a double from Nick Green on his home debut and Ollie Flegg’s touchdown.

Morley made a bright start and they made the breakthrough on 21 minutes when Andy Funnell’s break and Laurence Frantzis’ charge sent Sim powering through for the first try. Mark Chester kicked the first of his six conversions in a perfect kicking display from the skipper.

The home forwards continued to dominate and strong work from Brandon Hannam, Sam Brown and Flegg resulted in Sim going over again for another converted score that made it 14-0.

Guisborough fought back and Shields’ first, improved by full-back Christian Pollock, cut the deficit to seven with 25 minutes played, only for Morley to respond when Nick Green brushed aside would-be tacklers to crash over on the half-hour mark.

The final say of the half went to the visitors when Shields bagged his second and Guisborough bossed the opening 20 minutes of the second half, a period of play that resulted in Shields completing his hat-trick six minutes after the resumption.

Pollock missed the conversion but made amends 11 minutes later, landing a penalty that brought the visitors to within a point.

But Morley regained the ascendancy, the forwards again to the fore, and Sim raced through from the wing to chalk-up his hat-trick try.

The Maroons were back on the attack from the kick-off and both Flegg and Hannam went close before the latter off-loaded to Flegg for his well-deserved scores.

Morley turned the screw with their final try of the game on 71 minutes. Chester made a dart for the line and although he was brought down short of the line, Green was in support to claim his second to put the hosts in command at 42-20 up.

Guisborough continued to battle and their efforts were rewarded with Shields’ fourth, converted by Pollock from the touchline with the last kick of the game.

The five-point win sets-up Morley for Saturday’s home clash with Dinnington.