Shaking off the lethargy induced by the Xmas and New Year break Malton entered the fray at Morpeth in perfect conditions, cool, dry, with an accompanying slight breeze.
The Malton pack took the game to Morpeth and on 10 minutes earned a penalty which went wide. Five minutes later Shane Poole made amends converting a 2nd chance to open the scoring.
However on 20 minutes following a Morpeth fly hack dropped on by the defending Ben Tenge the missed kick to touch led to problems for Malton with Morpeth moving the ball wide and exploiting a gap in the defence which had taken time to realign and their no 13 breezed through for 5 points duly converted.
More game time in the opponents half was again wasted by an aimless kick which Morpeth gobbled up and moved downfield with the scrambled defence giving away two penalties to bring Morpeth within range for the third penalty easily converted.
Malton had at least 60% of the territory and plenty of ball but missed kicks and poor passing did not reflect a hard working effort by the forwards with John Vasconcelos to the fore. On 40 minutes Morpeth scored wide out to bring the half time score to 15 - 3 in their favour.
The second half was noticeable for a rarely seen double yellow card shown to the Morpeth no 8 on 48 and 68 minutes respectively with the obligatory red brandished alongside the second card.
Prior to this Malton had scored through the reliable Matt Bowman with Poole adding 2 points to bring Malton back into the game at 10 - 15. With plenty of time on the clock Malton ignored a penalty within range, took a quick tap which was knocked forward.
The game see-sawed from end to end and on 70 minutes Morpeth were awarded a penalty try no conversion required to lead 22 - 10.
Undeterred but with time running short Malton attacked the Morpeth line and Malton's man of the match Bowman ploughed over on 80 minutes to bring an entertaining but sometimes frustrating afternoon to a close, earning a welcome losing bonus point.
A failure to make touch and not looking after hard earned possession proved costly to a team who could have flagged up another win against higher placed opponents. Addressing these matters is a priority before next week's game at home to 13th placed West Leeds.