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SHETLAND 19 MORAY 1ST XV 41
Fri 6th Apr 2018
Moray's 1st XV made the long ferry trip north last weekend to play Shetland in BT Caledonia League Division 2 North, coming away with a decisive 19-41 victory.

The SRU had decreed that this fixture would be a double header as Shetland had twice tried to make the trip to Elgin without success and the fact that there was no 'match day' availability left before the end of the season. This being the case, Moray received 10 points and now are top of the league albeit they have played a game more.

The Elgin side kicked off in unusually fine weather, although underfoot the going was heavy, and were quickly into their stride when lively No 8 John Stuart ripped ball in a tackle, popped to lock Chris Robottom who in turn passed to prop Mark Taylor who galloped 20 metres for a try. Full-back Callum Wright duly converted to put the visitors ahead 0-7 after only five minutes.

Five minutes later the visitor's scrummage found themselves, possibly for the first time this season, being driven backwards by the powerful Shetland pack. The home side could not turn this dominance to their advantage, however, and a spell of handling errors by both sides ensued.

In the 24th minute, a fairly easy shot at goal was missed by the home side after Moray were penalised for not releasing the ball in a ruck and it took another seven minutes before Moray got the scoreboard moving again. A penalty against for obstruction was kicked to the corner and although the ball was knocked- on at the resulting line-out, the visitor's pack stole possession "against the head" and moved it left to stand-off Jonny Haslam who dotted down in the corner. With the conversion missed, the lead was now 0-12.

A minute before the end of the half, the home side were penalised for offside 5 metres from their own line and a quick tapped kick by The Elgin side allowed Wright to squeeze in for a try out wide. This time he slotted the difficult conversion, making the half-time score 0-19

A minute into the second period and it was the full- back who was the hero again when he "fly-hacked" a poor clearance kick by the home side back into their half, gathered the ball and scored, what was Moray's fourth and "bonus point" try. With the conversion missed the score was now 0-24 but soon after, the mercurial full-back knocked-on in his own 22, and following a scrum and several phases of play, Shetland ran in an unconverted try for 5-24.

This seemed to inspire the home side whose forwards were winning and retaining more ball. It was a "break away" from their own half that gave them their second, a converted try, reducing the lead to 12-24.

In the 56th minute it was Wright's searing break that led to Moray's fifth try. When he was eventually stopped, the forwards took it on and captain and hooker Lewis Higgins was able to force his way over for another five pointer and 12-29.

In spite of trailing by 17 points, the islanders had far from given up and in the 69th minute, after some sustained pressure, their inside centre was able to cruise in, untouched, between the posts. The easy conversion made the score 19-29.

Two minutes later, what had been a sporting and well refereed contest, was somewhat spoiled when one of Shetland's props was yellow carded for foul play. Moray capitalised on this by kicking the resulting penalty to touch and driving the line-out maul towards the home goal line. The ball was "held up" over the line but from the 5 metre scrum, Stuart picked up and drove over for the try and a 19-34 lead.

With only a few minutes of the match remaining the visitors completed the scoring when a poor Shetland clearance was fielded by Robottom and after a mazy run, his pass put acting scrum-half Andrew McBean in for a try. Wright's conversion made the final score Shetland 19 Moray 41.

Although perhaps not Moray's best performance of the season, this was a pleasing result away from home with the back-row and particularly flanker Ruaraidh Mackessock-Leitch outstanding.

Both Moray's senior teams are at home on Saturday when the 1st XV play Mackie and the 2nd XV host Huntly. Both kick-offs are at 3.00 pm.

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Caledonia 2 North

(2018/19 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Ab'deen Gram 2nd XV 0 0
Banff 0 0
Garioch 0 0
Highland 2nd XV 0 0
Mackie 0 0
Moray 0 0
North Police 0 0
RAF Lossiemouth 0 0
Ross Sutherland 0 0

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2018/19)
RAF Lossiemouth C - C Moray
15th Sep 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: RAF Lossiemouth

Next 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2018/19)
Moray vs Aberdeen Grammar 2nd XV
22nd Sep 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

Caledonia 4 North

(2018/19 2nd XV Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Ab'deen Wdrs 2nd XV 0 0
Deeside 0 0
Dyce 0 0
Fraserburgh 0 0
Inverness CD 0 0
Moray 2nd XV 0 0
Peterhead 0 0

Last 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2017/18)
Inverness CD 48 - 10 Moray 2nd XV
12th May 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Canal Park

Next 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2018/19)
Moray 2nd XV vs Fraserburgh
22nd Sep 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Morriston
:: More Fixtures

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