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YM run crashes to a halt.

Under 8 Morley 6 YMCA 2 YMCA under 8 lost their first game of the season against well-drilled Yorkshire champions, Morley.

Straight from the off, Morley showed what they were capable with quick passing and silky running that took the YM by surprise.

And, within 30 seconds, they found themselves going behind.

Not only were Morley the better team in attack, but they were also superior in defence as well as the YM were unable to find a way through.

Time and time again, the visitors found themselves with the ball in hand but with three defenders around them as soon as they had caught it.

This led to numerous turn-overs and a team with Morley's quality was able to punish this at every opportunity.

By exposing the YM's tight defence, they were able to spread the ball wide very quickly and the YM were soon 3-0 down - a position this team has never found themselves in.

However, towards the end of the second half, the YM started to show promise and although hesitant at first, they started to throw the ball about themselves.

With some good build up play, they worked their way down to the Morley line and with some strong running, Charlie Toomes scored his first ever try in the YM colours.

The YMCA made some changes at half-time, but unfortunately it was not enough to keep the Morley attack at bay, as they again forced turn-overs and errors to regain possession to score two more tries.

The game was now out of reach for the YM, however, they did not give up heart or fight and in a rare moment of retained possession, the ball was worked to George Barton to score a fine try.

Unfortunately, this was to be their last try in the first game and Morley were able to stretch their lead before the end of the match to take the final score to 6-2. The YMCA players took their first defeat with dignity and clapped their opposition from the field.

However, they resolved to make amends in the second game of the day.

Morley 1 YMCA 3 YMCA learn from their mistakes in the first game to return to winning ways.

In a performance that made the coaches proud, the YM showed real maturity to hit back and inflict a rare defeat for Morley.

Not only did the YM under 8s listen to the coaches during the gap between games, but they also discussed between themselves how they should approach the second game.

This involved analysing the opposition's style and coming up with tactics to nullify the threat.

Whatever was discussed certainly worked as the YMCA defence was on top form straight from the first whistle.

Morley were unable get the first score and the ball was turned-over.

However, the YM did not have it their own way as Morley's defence was just as sharp and in the open minutes, possession changed hands on a number of occasions before any team was able to capitalise.

However, it was the YMCA that took the upper-hand first with a well worked play.

Following a couple of drives upfield from Ellie Walker and Charlie Toomes, Luke Earnshaw was able to get himself on the scoresheet. Morley hit back straight away, but the defensive qualities of the YM, especially from the likes of Oscar Darde-Whitehead and Josh Jones (who was injured as a result of his tenacity) kept attacks at bay.

This game was the exact opposite of the first as both teams were cancelling each other out, resulting in a low scoring event. However, from a rare breakaway, Josh Stokes streaked down the wing to just score in the corner before the covering defence flew across.

With the lead at 2-0, the YM defence worked harder than ever and with Morley camped on the YM's line, the defence seemed impenetrable.

Despite giving penalties away, the YM's rush defence did not allow Morley to get a pass in and Luke Earnshaw made three consecutive tags, forcing a turnover on the last to end the half.

The second half was more of the same with defence being the order of the day.

Once again, Morley spent most of the half close to the YM line, but errors and turn-overs saw the likes of Charlie Kennedy, JJ Russell and Finbar Drennan being able to run the ball back, relieving the tired defence.Unfortunately, there was just too much pressure to hold out and Morley scored their first try of the game.

This led to a nervous final quarter as both teams tired. However, it was the YM that were able to capitalise on the tiring defence as Tom Sharp received the ball out wide and raced down the touchline to score the final try in the corner.

As the referee blew the whistle, there was great relief and delight from the YMCA youngsters and supporters. Every player made a valuable contribution to such a huge win over the current Yorkshire champions.

The team now hope to take this form with them when they play at Headlingley Carnegie Stadium in front of thousands of supporters during the half-time interval between Leeds Carnegie and London Irish on Sunday.

CAPTION(S):

IN SIGHT OF THE LINE: Finbar Drennan goes close in the corner CHANGE OF DIRECTION: Tom Sharp cuts back on the inside DETERMINED EFFORT: YM under 8 Ellie Walker bursts through the defence
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2011
Words:903
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