Moor the Merrier
Moor finished their league programme last Saturday with a trip to the Wirral to play bottom-of-the-table Oldershaw.
Moor finished their league programme last Saturday with a trip to the Wirral to play bottom-of-the-table Oldershaw. This game was no longer a ‘must’ win for the Green Lane side if they were to have any chance of finishing runners-up in the league, for despite beating second-placed Liverpool Collegiate the week before, the latter had picked up two valuable bonus points from that game and were now out of reach. In the event, coach Mark Edwards instructed the side to go out and enjoy themselves at the end of a very productive season and with glorious weather and a larger than normal band of supporters, this is what Moor did.
It took a while for the opening score but when it did arrive, it was from an old staple move – penalty line-out some 10 metres out, catch and drive, for Ben Jones, playing at lock instead of his usual No. 8 position, to touch down and cement his position as top try-scorer for the season with 19 tries; fly-half Pat Chatterton converting. The visitors had another couple of chances to extend their lead shortly afterwards when only a metre or so short of the line, but squandered both and it was the home side who next scored with a well-taken penalty and could have narrowed the gap with another from almost an identical position, but this was just wide. Moor had to wait until well into the second quarter to extend their lead.
This followed a number of phases of play by their forwards which drew in the defence and when the ball was released down the back line, full-back Matt Hughes joined them at pace to score in the corner, excellently converted from the touchline by Chatterton. Despite having much of the play during the first half, Moor had to wait until well into injury time at the break for their next score from evergreen prop, Joe James, following another penalty line-out, again converted by Chatterton, making the half-time score 21-3.
The second half proved to be much more profitable for Moor as they ran in another six tries, five of which were converted by Chatterton, giving him another outstanding return for the afternoon and maintaining a success rate of around 80% since making his debut in March. The first score originated from a ruck in one corner of the field, with the ball being released along the backs to find hooker Mike Maguire, having decided not to get involved in the original forward move, who then drove over. The second followed a penalty kick by the home side which failed to find touch and it was returned with interest, as the ball was switched first one way and then the other, for winger Jack Humpage to dive in at the corner; the conversion being narrowly missed by Chatterton.
From the kick-off, the ball found its way to the Moor back line and Hughes was again on hand to take a pass on the halfway, where he began a mazy run to outstrip the floundering defence and score under the posts. Despite conceding a number of points in a short space of time, Oldershaw continued to make a game of it and showed that whatever Moor could do, they could do just as well as, from winning a penalty line-out, they set up a series of rucks and then released the ball down their backs, for their right-winger to squeeze in at the corner, followed by a cracking conversion from the touchline. Moor did continue on their merry way however, by
turning the ball over following the kick-off and this eventually resulted in James claiming his second score of the afternoon, to take his try-tally for the season on both the first and second teams, well into double figures, which must be a club record for a prop, especially one of such advancing years.
After all, when he started playing, the Dead Sea was just sick! Moor’s last two tries resulted from identical situations. The kick-off following the previous score was fielded by Jones, who made huge inroads into the defence and then the ball was recycled along their backs for replacement winger Olly Reynolds to score the penultimate try and centre Chris Sutton to score the last, making the result 61-10 at the final whistle, thus bringing to the close a very successful and satisfying season for Moor, in which they exceeded over 100 league points.