Tough away-day at Heaton Moor
Positive start but ultimately an away defeat in local derby
Marple 1st XV travelled the short distance to high-flying Heaton Moor in buoyant mood after last week’s narrow late win over Oswestry.
In unfamiliar playing conditions (i.e. not in a monsoon) the Marple pack started very brightly winning 2 scrums against the head & playing all the rugby. The early pressure was turned into points when after several excellent phases of play, good quick ball & slick hands gave Mead on the left wing just enough space to step and burrow over for a score in the corner. (He’s one to watch this kid, definitely one for the future)
The conversion was narrowly missed but tails were up & Marple went straight back on the attack and forced a penalty in the 22 which skipper Gregg slotted for a very encouraging early 0-8 lead.
As with much of the early season games Marple ill-discipline, in unnecessary areas, led to a soft home penalty, a 5m catch & drive and score for the home team front-row. 5-8
Again Marple spent the next 10 mins on the front foot & had another Gregg penalty to show for their efforts but they did come incredibly close, as close as actually getting the ball over the line with downward pressure (otherwise known as a try) through No. 10 Brown but the referee, otherwise excellent, deeming a 5m scrum the only reward. 5-11
Sadly this was to be the end of the scoring for Marple. The home-side, who had probably taken a win for granted & had been taken aback by the Marple start, got their noses in front when a loose kick was very well returned and a pass out of contact led to a converted score under the posts. Half time 12-11
To be fair to the Home side the 2nd half was a different proposition, hard running forwards keeping the game tight, slowly building pressure and using the wind to play to the corners. The pressure built & when veteran prop Newton was given 10 mins rest for not retreating Moor chose the scrum & scored from close range.
The Marple 1st up defence was excellent throughout and the back row of Duffy, David, Gordon/Bennison worked incredibly hard & kept Moor at bay for the next 20 mins.
The final result, although not really in doubt after 60 mins, was given a probably un-merited shine when in the final 5 mins, with Marple tiring, Moor scored 2 further tries to end with a 38-11 win.
Marple need to pick themselves up for the visit of new to the league Aspull next week.
MoM went to right-wing Young for both excellent defence & consistently being a handful with the ball out-wide.