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BANFF 19 MORAY 55
Tue 26th Mar 2019
A good all-round display by Moray saw them run out convincing winners by 55 points to 19, on the road at Banff last weekend, in their latest Tennent’s Caledonia League Division 2 North fixture.

Following some early pressure by the visitors, it was Banff who took a 3-0 lead when they landed a penalty kick adjudged as an ‘above the horizontal’ tackle.

In the 11th minute, the Elgin side were pinged for offside on their 22 and the Banff stand-off landed a second penalty for 6-0.

Four minutes later, Moray replied. After a number of forward driving phases, the ball was opened to Captain Marc Higgins out wide and he made the line in the corner. Stand-off Rory Millar could not add the extras to leave the score at 6-5.

The visitors continued to press and in the 19th minute forced a defending scrum 5. A big drive for the pack won the ball against the head and No. 8 David Clarke picked and offloaded to centre Jonny Haslam who made the line out wide. Millar pushed his conversion attempt leaving the score at 6-10.

From the restart, the ball was knocked on by a Moray player and the mercurial home 10 looked up, set himself and landed an audacious drop goal to close the score to 9-10.

The Elgin side continued to get on the front foot with some strong forward driving play and dominance in the scrum and although they had a number of chances to add to their lead, it was not until the 28th minute that they did.

Good play had taken them to an attacking scrum, 5 metres out and as the pack drove towards the line, scrum-half Andrew McBean picked up at the back and drove round the side and over for the score. Millar added the extras for 9-17.

In the final play of the first half and after a period of concerted pressure in the home 22, Moray scored their fourth and the bonus point try.

Following a number of ‘driving for the line’ phases of play, the ball was moved away from the breakdown to David Clarke and he had the strength to get over the line. Millar added the conversion for a half-time score of Banff 9 Moray 24.

Banff got the second-half under way but immediately McBean fired the ball to a touch on the home 22. The Elgin side put pressure on the line, took the ball against the throw and immediately set up a drive which was illegally stopped short of the line.

A scrum was taken instead of kicking to touch and with a good clean strike, the ball was shipped through hands to wing Andrew Thomson who had enough room to get in at the corner for an unconverted try and a 9-29 lead.

In the 55th Minute, the visitors stretched the lead further. Clean ball off the top was taken at a line-out on the home 10 metre line and moved wide to Marc Higgins at pace. He stepped past a number of defenders and took the clear line to score under the posts. Millar added the conversion points for a commanding 9-36 lead.

The Banff heads did not go down and in the 63rd minute, they reduced the lead in their first real foray of the half into visitor’s territory.

An offside penalty on the half-way line allowed them to kick to a line-out inside the 22. Clean ball was taken and following a number of driving phases, they made it over the line for an unconverted try and a 14-36 score line.

Moray immediately returned to the offensive and in the 68th minute added a further try. Following some good lead up driving and passing play into the 22, a penalty was given.

Replacement scrum-half Gregor Hands quickly tapped and ran before offloading to second-row John Westmacott who bulldozed his way over the line. With Millar converting, the score was now 14-43.

From the restart, Millar received the ball, stepped inside the onrushing home players and broke to the home 10 before offloading to back-row Steven Clark. He was tackled on the 22 but set up ball which was quickly moved through hands to full-back Lachlan Jones who scored an unconverted try in the corner for 14-48.

Three minutes later, Banff scored their 2nd try of the afternoon which was virtually a replica of their first with a penalty gaining position and strong driving and retention play creating the opportunity. The conversion was missed leaving the score at 19-48.

In the final minutes of the game, Moray once again forced their way into the 22 and towards the line with some good handling and driving play.

With home hands in the ruck, a penalty was given, 6 metres out. Following a big drive towards the line, the ball was picked up by Steven Clark and supported by second-row Gareth Dunscombe they went for the line but the ball was held up.

Banff had infringed though and following a clean scrum, the ball, this time, was moved to the backs and wide to Marc Higgins who went over for his second try of the afternoon. Millar landed the difficult kick for a final score of Banff 19 Moray 55.

It had been a very good all-round display by the Moray side who had shown what they are very capable of.

Up front, the scrummage had been immense causing real problems, taking a considerable number against the head and the driving play with ball in hand was also strong.

This provided an abundant supply of good ball and the backs thrived off this and showed what they can do with a great balance of strong running and getting the ball wide.

This Saturday, Moray are at home on league business and take on Ross Sutherland at 3pm.




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Caledonia 2 North

(2019/20 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Ab'deen Gram 2nd XV 6 25
Highland 2nd XV 6 24
North Police 6 20
Mackie Academy 7 16
Aberdeenshire 6 14
Moray 6 12
Banff 6 8
Ross Sutherland 5 4

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2019/20)
North Police 54 - 17 Moray
30th Nov 19 - KO: 14:00
Venue: Westhill
:: Match Report

Next 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2019/20)
Mackie Academy FP vs Moray
14th Dec 19 - KO: 14:00
Venue: Redcloak Pitches
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