Home   Sport   Article

PICTURES: Moray Rugby Club see off Aberdeenshire to progress in National Shield

By Graham Stables

Moray progressed to the next round of the National Shield when, after a hard fought encounter last Saturday at Morriston, they eased past Aberdeenshire by 45 points to 19.

Neil Alexander goes for the line.
Neil Alexander goes for the line.

View John MacGregor's picture gallery from the match below.

The first 15 minutes of the game was a bit of a battle in midfield but in the 18th minute, the visitors opened the scoring. A penalty took them to a line-out, five metres out and when clean ball was taken, a drive took them over the line for a converted try and 0-7 lead.

Moray immediately tried to reply and spent some time attacking in the opposition half. In the 27th minute, they made the line. Ball was moved from a scrum, ten metres out, and full-back Rory Millar came into the line at a good angle only to be stopped a couple of metres out by a high tackle. Centre Connor McWilliam was at hand to scoop up the ball and make the line. Millar converted for 7-7.

A couple of minutes later, they took the lead. A break from half-way saw some great handling interchanges with prop John Westmacott gathering the ball out wide and scoring an unconverted try for 12-7, the half-time score.

The Aberdeen side levelled the score early in the second half after several driving phases by their big forwards.

In the 52nd minute, the Elgin side regained the lead. A number of phases of running and passing play took them into the 22. The ball was moved wide and hooker Marc Higgins threw an audacious dummy and made the line. Wing Iain Stuart landed the conversion for 19-12.

Six minutes later, following some good continuity play down the right, the ball reached No 8 Neil Alexander and he brushed his way past a couple of defenders to score. Stuart added the extras for 26-12.

In the 66th minute, Aberdeenshire reduced the lead to 26-19 when they scored a third converted try through their forwards looking to set up a grandstand finish.

Moray showed their desire and fitness, however, and in the last 8 minutes dominated the game, scoring three final tries.

The first emanated from a good break through the middle by wing-forward Kris Morrison. He offloaded in contact to fellow wing-forward David Clarke who in turn offloaded to wing Ewan Simpson to score an unconverted try. The second try was scored when ball was pinched at a ruck in the 22 and quickly moved wide to wing Lewis Scott to score a try converted by Stuart. Finally, McWilliam broke from inside his own half and switched the ball back to Simpson with a clear run in for a converted try and a 45-19 win.

It had been a really competitive and hard fought encounter and after 70 minutes was relatively close but with Moray in control of the scoreboard. A really strong finish, however, put some gloss on a well deserved result. It had been a good all round display from the team but special mention should go to youngsters Blair Garrick, Euan Willetts and Iain Stuart who stepped into the fray and showed up well.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More