The position of the defenders along the
Beck was untenable. To their front, Viking warriors thrust at them
from the ditch while others engage them from the other bank. Now, from their right, came
King Harald's charge or 'storm'.
The defenders could not reform or quickly reinforce to meet this
threat. The firm ground on their bank was little more than a causeway. The
outflanked line steadily yielded to Hardrada's superior force.
From the high ground on the left flank, Morcar and his defenders
could only see the battle in front of them at the ford where neither side was making
progress. They would not have seen the breakthrough.
In less than 30 minutes the force holding the Beck was rolled up. Suddenly
the Vikings were upon them from behind.