Moor unable to be party-poopers
Heaton Moor 7 – Winnington Park 36
For the first home league game of 2018, Moor hosted the runaway division leaders Winnington Park at Green Lane last Saturday and hoping to be the first team this season to put an end to the Northwich-based side’s 100% record, especially as in the reverse fixture back in September, only a conversion separated the sides. Despite a promising first half by Moor, it was not to be as Park proved too strong in the latter stages of the game.
For the first quarter of the game, the home side certainly had the edge and within 5 minutes had opened their account with a well-taken try by fly-half Jack Wilson. This followed a penalty kick to touch and with the ensuing lineout being won, the ball was quickly passed down the Moor back line, where Wilson was involved in a loop pass and seeing a gap, he darted through it and sped in unopposed to touch down under the sticks, making the conversion a formality for winger Ollie Reynolds. Moor continued to press, keeping the opposition pinned down within their own half and preventing them from mounting any sort of meaningful attack. This pressure paid off with another penalty, this time in front of the Park posts, but inexplicably Moor, perhaps because of this early dominance, elected to kick to touch instead of taking a nailed-on 3 points. Needless to say, the ensuing lineout was lost, but they were soon awarded another penalty, as the opposition failed to clear their lines. Whilst not as straightforward as the previous potential kick, this was nonetheless another chance to stretch their lead, but again a lineout was taken and again this was lost. When they were awarded a third penalty a few minutes later, the kick was taken but as it was some way out, it drifted just wide. Having ridden their luck for the first 20 minutes, Park began to get back into the game and on just about their first foray into the Moor 22, scored an opening try. This came from a lineout deep in Moor territory, followed by a well-executed rolling maul, which was finished off by one of their prop-forwards. Shortly afterwards, the home side had a man yellow-carded for a high tackle, but despite this handicap, managed to prevent Park from extending their lead until just before the break when they took the lead from a penalty kick, to make the half-time score 8-7 to the visitors.
From the restart, it was the visitors who ruled the roost as they slowly built up the pressure on Moor and on the occasions when they had to defend, their line held, with the home side only occasionally making any significant inroads. This pressure paid off with two further penalty kicks, one of which was scored whilst having their own player sin-binned. As the half progressed, Moor appeared to begin to run out steam, much in the same way as the previous week and were prone to errors, both forced and un-enforced. One such error was a knock-on over their own line and from the resultant scrum, Park produced a good drive, allowing the No. 8 to pick up and score their second try. The visitor’s tails were now up and in the final 10 minutes, scored a further three tries, with one converted, as Moor were unable to stem the onslaught. All these scores came from Moor either giving away possession in midfield or being penalised whilst trying to halt the Park attack and given the latter’s dominance towards the end of the game, the final score of 36-7 was a sobering result for Moor and shows why Park are league-leaders.
Moor travel to the Wirral next Saturday where they play Port Sunlight, k.o. 2:15p.m.,