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1st XV - Match centre

Liverpool St Helens
Heaton Moor RUFC
Sat 13 Oct 15:00 - Cup Full time

First time for everything

First leg of the ADM League Cup


Moor travelled to St. Helens last Saturday to play Liverpool St. Helens at their Moss Lane ground in the first leg of the ADM League Cup, the cup competition associated with the ADM Lancashire Premier League. This was the first-ever meeting between the clubs at 1st XV level and also proved to be Moor’s heaviest defeat of the season so far, but the visitors did acquit themselves extremely well considering the team that they were able to field and especially as events did not get off to a good start, when centre Kingsley Child injured himself in the pre-match warm-up, leaving Moor with just one replacement on the bench.

With LSH kicking-off, Moor were kept pinned down in their own half of the field for the first 10 minutes, yet, perversely, it was their first incursion into LSH territory that produced the opening score. This came from an LSH scrum that was quickly recycled down their three-quarter line to the left-winger, who rode two tackles on his way to touching down under the posts, providing a simple conversion. Moor did reduce the deficit midway through the half with a penalty goal from skipper Danny Child, but immediately from the restart an almost identical move to the one that had produced the first score, provided the opposition left-winger with his second try, this time in the corner, followed by an excellent conversion from the touch-line.

Moor continued to battle against the odds and were eventually rewarded with an unconverted try in the corner from wing-forward Sam Dolling, following a series of rucks inside the LSH 22. Just as it seemed as if Moor would go into the break only one score down, they conceded another try on the point of half-time, the second time in successive weeks that this has happened. This came from a penalty in front of the Moor posts, but instead of taking the simplest of kicks, the home side elected to take a scrum, from where the ball was again passed along the back line to the left-winger for him to score his hat-trick, making the interval score 19-8 to LSH.

Moor’s task was made even harder shortly after the restart when they lost fullback Ollie Reynolds with a twisted ankle and using up their lone replacement, it meant that they had to rearrange their pack, with a forward having to play out in the three-quarters, but fortunately, they did not lose anyone else to injury before the end of the game.

They did reduce their deficit with another penalty goal from Child, but went further behind when an LSH centre crossed for a converted try. The last 20 minutes belonged to the hosts, as they proved a constant threat to Moor in all departments and were able to repeatedly nullify any ball that the visitors had. During this period, both teams were reduced to 14 players as a result of the referee yellow-carding a player from each side following a minor disagreement in midfield, which had a greater effect on Moor as their player happened to be from the front row, putting even greater pressure on their forwards.

LSH scored a further two unconverted tries before full-time, both as a result of disrupting Moor's possession. The first came from a turn-over in loose play as Moor attempted to attack out of their half and the second when Moor lost a lineout, but to Moor's credit they did keep battling on and did not allow the opposition to overwhelm them and for the most part, did keep their defensive shape, when a lot of sides would have crumpled under the pressure.

The final result of 36-11 to LSH, whilst disappointing, could have been a lot worse, but for the Moor’s fortitude and resilience.

Next week, Moor continue their league campaign when they play host to Littleborough at Green Lane, k.o. 3:00 p.m.

DAVID TODD

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