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Thu 9th Mar 2017
The BT Caledonia League Division 2 North top of the table clash between Moray and Banff at Morriston last Saturday was a hard fought encounter which the visitor's narrowly won by 17 points to 10 by the visiting side.

With persistent rain and heavy underfoot conditions, conditions were not conducive to open running rugby but the game opened briskly with both teams looking to keep ball in hand.

The Elgin side created the first opportunity when they forced an attacking scrum, 30 metres out. A big scrum shunted the Banff side backwards and the ball was picked up and driven. In the tackle, however, the slippery ball was dislodged and the chance gone.

In the 6th minute, the visitors took the lead. They forced their way into the 22 to an attacking scrum. It was clear, even at this early stage, that the home scrum had the upper hand and the attacking side was driven back. Somehow, the No 8 managed to collect the ball, broke blind and after a couple of phases an unconverted try was scored out wide for a 0-5 lead.

Moray quickly returned to the offensive and the visitors did well to bundle an attack into touch near the goal line.

The home side continued to press and in the 9th minute, they too scored an unconverted try to level the score at 5-5. A drive by the forwards up the right flank took them to 5 metres out. Ball was set, moved wide and centre Harvey Freeman collected ball out wide and barged his way over the line. Wing Connor McWilliam pushed his conversion attempt wide.

Three minutes later, the visitors had a chance to regain the lead when they forced an attacking line-out, 5 metres out, after the Elgin side was pinged for offside. The home line took the ball, however, all the ball was cleared.

For the next 15 minutes or so, the home side pressed but stout tackling kept them at bay. In this period they also lost their strong running and influential No 8 John Stuart to a foot injury.

In the 35th minute, the visitors fly hacked a loose ball through towards the line. It looked like the attacking side should have been penalised for not letting the defender up but the referee allowed it to go allowing the big Banff forwards to rip the ball and after a couple of phases score a second forward try out wide. The conversion was unsuccessful leaving the score at 5-10, the half-time score.

The visitors started the second half the brighter and a penalty in the 47th minute was dispatched to an attacking line, 5 metres out. Clean ball was taken and set and after a number of drives, the forwards breached the Moray defensive line and scored a converted try to extend the lead at 5-17.

This stung the home side into action and they went on to dominate possession for the remainder of the game. The Banff defensive, however, were stuffy and were intent on not letting anyone through.

In the 63rd minute and after a period on intense pressure near the line, prop Nathan Gilmore barged his way over the line after a quick tap penalty was taken when the visitors infringed at a scrum, 5 metres out. McWilliam's conversion attempt came back off the post leaving the score at 10-17.

Within a minute, Banff missed an opportunity to extend their lead through a penalty kick when hands were used on the deck.

Moray continued to press in the last 15 minutes but the visitors did well to halt a pick and drive from No 8 Neil Wiseman from an advancing scrum 5, to bundle McWilliam into touch at the corner flag and to hold on to the final whistle for a 10-17 victory.

It had been a miserable afternoon for good open rugby but both teams had contributed to an exciting and hard fought match. Once again, the Moray scrum was strong and dominant but it was difficult, in the conditions, to move ball through hand in the backs and the team left the field somewhat disappointed.

This Saturday, Moray will look to immediately get back to a winning way and are away to Aberdeen Grammar 2nds on league business.

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Caledonia 2 North

(2017/18 Results)
Ellon 14 55
Highland 2nd XV 16 55
Garioch 14 53
Moray 14 51
Mackie Academy FP 13 46
RAF Lossiemouth 13 35
Ross Sutherland 13 35
Aberdeen Uni Medics 13 21
Shetland 11 20
Ab'deen Gram 2XV 12 18
Deeside 14 16
Stornoway 11 0

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Highland 2nd XV 50 - 22 Moray
3rd Mar 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Canal Park
:: Match Report

Next 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Moray vs Stornoway
24th Mar 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

Caledonia 3 North

(2017/18 2nd XV Results)
North Police 12 54
Ab'deenshire 2nd XV 14 53
Kinloss Eagles 12 49
Inverness CD 12 40
Gordonians 2nd Xv 13 37
Aberdeen Uni 10 36
Peterhead 10 31
Huntly 10 28
Ab'deen Wdrs 2nd Xv 11 19
Moray 2nd XV 14 11
Fraserburgh 15 11
Dyce 15 1

Last 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2017/18)
North Police 36 - 5 Moray 2nd XV
10th Mar 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Westhill

Next 2nd XV Game

 Season (2017/18)
Moray 2nd XV vs Peterhead
24th Mar 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

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