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ABERDEEN GRAMMAR SCHOOL FP 2NDS 28 MORAY 22
Tue 14th Mar 2017
For a second week running, Moray were narrowly beaten in a BT Caledonia League Division 2 North fixture, when they lost by 28 points to 22, away to Grammar School FP 2nds in Aberdeen.

The Aberdeen side kicked off but it was the visitors who threatened the line first. A fly-hack through by the home side was collected by full-back Keiran Young and his direct run took him down the right flank only to be bundled into touch in a last ditch tackle by the goal-line.

The Elgin side continued to press for the opening score but the young FP side defended resolutely and at every opportunity tried to run out of defence, using the pace they obviously had in their backs.

Two kickable penalties, one by each side, were missed in the opening 20 minutes but in the 27th minute, Moray took the lead. Ball was won in the loose on the halfway line and quickly moved through hands. Replacement full-back Danny Bradley, who had replaced Young following a facial injury that required stitches, came into the line and drifted through the defence to score out wide. Wing Connor McWilliam could not add the conversion points leaving the score at 0-5.

The visitors quickly returned to the offensive from the restart, a big scrum produced an infringement and the ball was sent to an attacking scrum, 10 metres out. Clean ball was set and driven and after a couple of phases, hooker Lewis Higgins went over the line but was adjudged to be held up.

In the final minute of the first half, however, they did score a second try. A dominant scrum on the home 10 metre line was picked up by No 8 Neil Wiseman, passed through two sets of hands to outside-centre Alex Stronach and he had the strength to break the final line of defence and score an unconverted try for a 0-10 half time lead.

The Aberdeen stand-off failed with an easy penalty and a drop kick attempt early in the 2nd half but in the 48th minute, they reduced the lead. After a period of pressure in the 22, they were awarded a penalty which was quickly taken and after a couple of drives, the line was breached for a converted try, reducing the lead to 7-10.

The home side were having a good spell and in the 55th minute took the lead. A break took them deep into the visitor's 22 and to a penalty. For a second time, a quick tap created the opportunity to score a converted try for 14-10.

Within minutes, the Elgin side regained the lead. An FP line on their 10 metre line was taken against the throw and replacement prop John Martin broke up the blind side. In contact he offloaded to second-row Connor Duncan who galloped forward before returning the ball outside to wing-forward Will Vernon who outpaced the defence to score. McWilliam could not add the conversion points, leaving the score at 14-17.

The lead did not last long as 2 minutes later Grammar drove to a ruck down the right and then opened the ball wide to their backs to score a converted try for 21-17.

Moray immediately took the game back to their opponents and in the 70th minute, scored a fourth and bonus point try. A penalty kick, after handling on the deck, took them to an attacking line, 8 metres out. Clean ball was taken and driven to a ruck. Quick ball was moved wide and Moray 'Man of the Match' Stronach broke the defence and scored. McWilliam wasn't having his best day from the kicking tee and missed the conversion kick, leaving the score at 21-22.

The Elgin side continued to attack but with only minutes to go, they were sucker punched when a handling mistake spilled ball on the FP's 22, allowing the speedy Grammar centre to pick up the ball and take a direct route over 3/4 the length of the pitch to score a converted try for a 28-22 lead.

Moray tried valiantly in the final minutes to get a winning try but the home defence stood firm leaving the final score at Aberdeen Grammar School FP 2nds 28 Moray 22.

The team left the field dejected as with only three games remaining, they thought their chances of winning the league had been scuppered. The mood changed quickly, however, as the league title is still there for the winning as both the 1st and 2nd placed teams were also beaten on the day. Even though they had lost, they came away with 2 points, one for a try bonus and the other a losing bonus for being within 7 points of the winners total.

Moray will now gather themselves together and prepare for their next match which is the BT National Bowl semi-final against Portobello at Morriston on Saturday 25th March at 3pm.



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Caledonia 2 North

(2017/18 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Ellon 10 44
Garioch 10 36
Moray 9 35
Mackie Academy FP 9 30
Highland 2nd XV 9 30
RAF Lossiemouth 9 26
Ross Sutherland 8 20
Aberdeen Uni Medics 9 15
Shetland 7 11
Ab'deen Gram 2XV 8 10
Deeside 10 9
Stornoway 8 0

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Moray 29 - 17 Ellon
2nd Dec 17 - KO: 14:00
Venue: Morriston

Next 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Ross Sutherland vs Moray
16th Dec 17 - KO: 14:00
Venue: Naval Grounds
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