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MORAY 1ST XV 37 MACKIE ACADEMY FP 29
Wed 11th Apr 2018
Moray 1st XV retained their position at the top of the BT Caledonia League Division 2 North, when they edged out Mackie Academy FPs by 37 points to 29 after a hard-fought encounter at Morriston last Saturday.

Moray started strongly and immediately made inroads into the opposition 22. In the 4th minute, they were awarded a penalty when Mackie infringed at the ruck, 5 metres out. A scrum was opted for and a clean hook and a big drive took them in the direction of the goal-line. No 8 John Stuart picked up, drove and made the line in the corner. Full-back Callum Wright landed the difficult kick for a 7-0 lead.

Five minutes later, the Stonehaven side progressed into the home half and into the 22. This time, it was Moray who infringed at the ruck and after a quick tap, the big second-row blasted his way through the defence and over the line for a converted try, tying the game at 7-7.

The Elgin side returned to the attack and in the 19th minute, they regained the lead. A penalty kick took them to an attacking line-out, 5 metres from the line. Clean ball was taken and after a couple of driving phases the ball reached wing Lewis Scott who powered his way over the line for a try, converted by Wright and a 14-7 lead.

Both teams were trying to play running rugby but defences stood firm.

In the 35th minute, however, Mackie reduced the leeway. A cross kick from the stand-off was collected by the wing and he had the pace to make the line out wide for an unconverted try and 14-12.

Moray had a decent opportunity to extend the lead just before half-time but the ball was knocked on in a driving play for the line, leaving the score at 14-12 at the break.

The Elgin side did, however, extend the lead in the 45th minute. A penalty for not releasing in the tackle was despatched to an attacking line-out, 6 metres out. Clean ball was taken, a drive set and the forwards powered towards the line with captain and hooker Lewis Higgins getting the ball down over the line. Wright could not manage to add the extra conversion points, leaving the score at 19-12.

Four minutes later, the Stonehaven side responded. A move which started with a good break by centre Connor McWilliam was eventually knocked-on in the visitor's 22 and a counter attack started. After a number of driving phases, the ball was moved wide and the left wing stepped inside the defence to score a converted try, tying the game again at 19-19.

The Moray scrummage had been on top all afternoon and in the 53rd minute, it looked ominous for Mackie when they were awarded a defending scrum, 5 metres out. With all the pressure on them, they somehow managed to get the ball back and clear the danger.

Ten minutes later, the power of the scrum did set the platform for another try. After several phases of driving play in the opposition 22, the Stonehaven side were caught offside, 5 metres out. A strong drive took the home side towards the line and this time, wing-forward Neil Wiseman, who was now at No 8 after an injury to Stuart, picked and drove over the line for an unconverted bonus point try and a 24-19 lead.

Moray piled on the pressure and in the 69th minute, they extended the lead. In a foray into the opposition half, Jonny Haslam, who had come on at stand-off, kicked into space in the corner. The ball took a wicked bounce, beating the full-back and Wright, following up, plucked it out of the air and run in an unconverted try taking the score to 29-19.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, it looked like they had done enough to win the game but Mackie were determined and in the 32nd minute, they responded. The young left wing again stepped inside the defence and scored an unconverted try, taking them within a converted try of the lead at 29-24.

Moray returned to the offensive and following a missed penalty attempt in the 74th minute, they were awarded another opportunity, two minutes later, when the Stonehaven scrum-half knocked on when trying to intercept a pass. Wright stepped up and landed the kick for a 32-24, a lead which meant Mackie would have to score twice in the final minutes.

In the 79th minute, Mackie did reduce the lead again when the second-row barged over for his second try, an unconverted try and a 32-29 score line.

The Stonehaven side again had hope but the Elgin side reclaimed the ball from the restart and progressed to a penalty on the 22, after the visitors held the tackled player on the ground. Wright's attempt cannoned back off the bar but Scott was following up, secured the ball and set up ruck. With the Mackie defence in disarray, the ball was moved quickly wide and McWilliam made the line for an unconverted try and a final score of Moray 37 Mackie 29.

Both teams should be commended on an excellent and hard fought game of open rugby but the power of the Moray forwards made a difference, creating real issues in the scrum and producing good ball for the backs to use.

This Saturday sees the most important fixture of the season so far when Moray 1sts are away to second place Ellon with the outcome of the league more or less dependent on the outcome.


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Caledonia 2 North

(2017/18 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Garioch 17 70
Ellon 18 66
Highland 2nd XV 16 64
Mackie Academy FP 18 63
Moray 18 53
Ross Sutherland 18 50
Ab'deen Gram 2XV 17 39
Shetland 15 19
Deeside 17 14
Stornoway 18 11

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Ross Sutherland 57 - 17 Moray
12th May 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Naval Grounds

Next 1st XV Game

Caledonia 3 North

(2017/18 2nd XV Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
North Police 18 83
Ab'deenshire 2nd XV 18 74
Kinloss Eagles 18 70
Huntly 19 58
Inverness CD 18 50
Gordonians 2nd Xv 17 49
Peterhead 17 35
Fraserburgh 18 19
Ab'deen Wdrs 2nd Xv 14 18
Moray 2nd XV 18 15
Dyce 18 7

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


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