Moray Rugby Club MORAY R.F.C
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Moray Rugby Club


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Tue 11th Apr 2017
Moray's challenge to win the BT Caledonia League Division 2 North title ended last Saturday when they lost out by 20 points to 9 in a very competitive game at Banff.

Early exchanges were evenly matched, however, in the 8th minute, the Elgin side took the lead. Play progressed to inside the home 22 to a ruck and after the defending side handled on the deck, wing Connor McWillam stepped up and landed the kick for a 0-3 lead.

Four minutes later, the visitors extended their lead when McWilliam added a further three points for 0-6 after a similar penalty was awarded, 30 metres out.

From the restart, prop Mark Taylor gathered the ball and barged his way back into the 22. This was the start of an assault on the Banff line which took them over the line but held up and eventually solid defence turned over ball and cleared the situation.

Moray continued to have the bulk of the possession in the remainder of the half but could not add to their tally leaving the half-time score at 0-6.

The Elgin side wanted to start the second half with all guns blazing but it was the home side that took the initiative and dominated the ball.

In the 53rd minute, several phases of play took them deep into the 22 where they were forced into touch. A squint throw-in gave them an attacking opportunity, 5 metres out. Clean ball was taken, driven round the side and after a couple of phases, the line was made for a converted try and a 7-6 lead.

A minute later, the Elgin side gave away a penalty, 30 metres out, after a high tackle. The Banff stand-off slotted the kick to extend the lead to 10-6.

Moray needed to get their hands on the ball and put some phases together and in the 57th minute, replacement scrum-half Gregor Hands got them back into the game when his quick thinking and a quick tap from 35 metres out saw him beat a couple of defenders and dart for the line only to be stopped couple of metres short.

The forwards followed up with a drive for the line only for home hands to illegally pull the ball from the ruck. McWilliam landed the resulting penalty to reduce the lead to 10-9.

The Elgin side were back in the game and trying hard to get the winning score but a combination of solid defending an inaccuracies, as well as some astute kicking by the experienced Banff 10, kept them at bay.

In the 70th minute, one such kick pegged the visitors back to a defending line-out in their 22. Clean ball was taken and the ball moved to the back to run. The Banff centre was on hand to intercept a pass and score a converted try under the posts to take them more than a try clear with only 10 minutes left on the clock.

Three minutes later, the visitors gave away another penalty, this time on their 10 metre line, for not rolling away after a tackle. The home man of the match stand-off stepped up and coolly landed the kick, stretching the lead to 20-9.

Moray threw everything they had at the home side in the last 7 minutes but the Banff defence held out to record the 20 points to 9 win taking them within touching distance of winning the league and gaining promotion.

The best the Moray side can now do is finish second, if they can overcome Garioch this Saturday in Inverurie in their final game of the year

The squad were very disappointed but they are a relatively young group of players and will have learned a lot this season. They should remember and be proud that they have had a really successful season in winning the BT Caledonia League Division 2 North (West) title, winning the BT Caledonia Regional Bowl North and reaching the semi-final of the BT Caledonia National Bowl.

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Caledonia 2 North

(2017/18 Results)
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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