Sandal defeat Morley in close-fought derby

Morley's Koby Gyasi scores in the clash with Sandal.
Morley's Koby Gyasi scores in the clash with Sandal.

Two quick-fire tries in the second half gave Sandal the edge over Morley in Saturday’s National 3 North derby.

The clash proved to be a hotly-contested one between two rivals who were both in good form and the Maroons held the upper hand for long periods.

However, the game turned on a second-half purple-patch that ended Morley’s quest to complete the double over Sandal this season.

It was the visitors who claimed the initiative in the first half, going into the break 10-6 up, and the sides were locked at 18-18 with less than 20 minutes to play.

The hosts enjoyed good early possession but it was Morley who broke the deadlock when Karl Bradshaw burst forward from midfield before putting Bradley Marshall over the whitewash with seven minutes played.

Mark Chester added the goal and although Sandal replied through two penalties from James Ellar midway through the half, Chester’s goal made it 10-6 three minutes before the break.

Chester had the chance to extend the lead further in the first half but missed two more penalties in near identical positions.

Sandal edged ahead through Joe Bedford’s try a minute after the resumption only for Koby Gyasi to latch onto Chester’s crossfield kick to restore the Maroons’ advantage.

Simon Frewin’s try, goaled by Ellar, put Sandal 18-15 up only for Chester to level with a penalty on 58 minutes.

The turning point came with two Ellar-improved tries in two minutes as Luke Norbury and Bedford went over for Sandal and the hosts ended the game in style with Sam Chitabura’s try and Ellar’s goal just before the final whistle.