Moor leave it late
Lazurus himself would have given up on this one at half time
Heaton Moor welcomed friends and promotion play off rivals Liverpool Collegiate to Green Lane for the last home league outing of the season for a game that would require Moor to take all 5 points with the visitors taking nothing away from Green Lane for any likelihood of a promotion stutter from the Liverpudlians.
Before the game at the very well attended Presidents lunch, President Tom Whelan spoke at length about the attacking flair from both sides who play a positive brand of rugby with the home side knowing they would have to be at their very best if they were going to secure a ninth straight win in what has been a formidable run of late.
Moor secured the opening points of the afternoon from the trusty boot of fly half Pat Chatterton which as it turned out would be the only serious threat from Moor in a half where they were totally outplayed by the visitors who’s offloading, lines of running combined with dextrous handling aided and abetted by a series of missed tackles saw them register three excellent team tries the last of of which came with the last play of the half leaving Moors chances of winning the game looking in tatters.
Things then went from bad to worse in the second half as Collegiate secured the bonus point courtesy of their forwards efforts with a superb driving maul before releasing the ball into the midfield which saw their centre power over from close to the line that saw them in to a 24-6 lead.
What happened next almost defied belief as a Moor side who had looked short on confidence during the opening half of the game defied all logic in making the best comeback since Lazurs himself. From a scrum just outside the Collegiate 22, No 8 Tommy Ireland made a sharp break infield before the ball was worked back and moved right where a lovely sleight of hand from full back Matt Hughes put wing Chris Sutton away with a lovely in and out that left his man grasping at thin air for a great try in the corner that produced a fantastic touchline conversion from Chatterton to see Moor back in the game at 13-24.
Moor then registered the next score after Sutton intercepted a loose Collegiate pass just outside the Moor 22 to break the length of the field to score under the posts for 7 priceless points as they pulled back to touching distance in a game that they had been totally outplayed in for the majority of.
With the score now 20-24, Chatterton then took Moor to within touching distance with another excellent penalty which was cancelled out by an equally good Collegiate penalty to see the game going in to the last minute with Moor down by just 4 points.
With the game in to the fifth minute of injury time Skipper Danny Child fed the Moor scrum just inside the Collegiate 22 which saw the pack batter their way to within inches of the line for 10 consecutive phases before Child released the backs, fly half Chatterton then produced a long winging pass that scared everyone but was pouched by substitute Jack Humpage who worked his way back infield going through three phases before Chatterton again flung another long pass that found the right man in centre Will Kay who stepped his man to score under the posts for the most unlikely win.
A fantastic end to a great game of rugby and after finishing a distant second best to Collegiate on so many occasions I’m sure they wont begrudge us this narrow win albeit they will clearly think this was one they should have won given the healthy lead they had.
Difficult to pick a man of the match for Moor, Sutty’s two scores helped pay some of his debt to society in a rugby career that has promised so much but delivered so little till of late but for me the metronomic reliability of Pat Chatterton’s boot which registered 15 precious points with three conversions and three penalties which added to his outrageous long pass at the death earns todays plaudits.
All in all a great campaign for Moor and Coach Mark Edwards should rightly be pleased at how the side have developed under his stewardship. Next week sees the last outing of the season at bottom side Oldershaw where the team will hopefully reach the 100 point mark for the first time in many a year.