Moortown Colts 29 Scunthorpe Colts 14
Colts go down in cup semi with honour.
On Sunday March 5th, Scunthorpe Colts travelled to Moortown Colts in Leeds, West Yorkshire for a cup semi-final in the Yorkshire Plate competition. In wet and rainy conditions, on a heavy pitch, they suffered a defeat against a team placed in a higher division than them, but produced a superb team performance. The home side fielded a team that had only one under 17 player, whilst the Greens fielded eleven, and on the heavy pitch the age advantage eventually told. With a try in the last minute, it gave the scoreline a flattering look, hiding the closeness of the encounter.
Moortown kicked off with the rain at their backs, down a slight slope with a small breeze in their favour. The ball was taken by Aiden Legge and was secured. A penalty advantage would come to nothing. The quality of rugby in the first half hour was a credit to both sides. Even though there was no scoring, it was not because of a lack of trying. The clearance kicking of full back Matty Boden was enhanced by the chasing of Archie Swain and Devon James. Joshua Sarsfield’s superb clearing out of the ruck would hinder the home all afternoon. George Taylor was nearly clear down the right touchline, chasing a Swain grubber kick, but the last defender was just one too many. The home side were denied a try when held up over the line by great Greens’ defence.
The visitors cracked on 30 minutes, as the weight of lineout possession would eventually tell, and the conversion made it 7-0 to Moortown. Lady fate was again not kind to the Greens of Scunthorpe, as with the last play of the half. A sweeping move from Moortown left to right had their winger going over in the corner. A superb move, yes, but the knock on in the build up play was not seen by the referee and the score stood. A flattering 12-0 half time lead to the West Yorkshire outfit.
The warning signs were there for Scunthorpe early in the second half . Another try for the home side was ruled out for the winger being in front of the kicker but, soon after, one was allowed from a similar chip. The ball bounced so kindly and now Moortown led 17-0, as it was unconverted. Preesure again on Scunthorpe’s right edge defence would see the Greens have to clear behind their own line and concede a scrum 5 yards from their own line. The scrum win, with a pick and go from the base, was somewhat impossible to stop and the score was extended to 24-0 with the conversion.
Most teams would have imploded, but rallying words from captain Lewis Meyer from behind the sticks, would have this Green machine going forward. Charge after charge on the Moortown line could only be halted by conceding penalties and, despite no sin-binning for three consecutive 10 yard infringements, Connor Graves would power over for a try, taking three tacklers with him. Set up by Jess Matthews, and converted by Boden. 24-7.
More of the same would have Moortown back peddling and a Matthews kick would just run dead before a Scunthorpe player could touch down. Coming back once more, a scrum win would ensure Greens had possession inside the Moortown 22. Swain passed to Matthews from the base, and he engaged the Moortown defence. A deft delayed short pass to Boden saw him cut through when they were expecting it out the back. Still with defenders to beat, footwork guided him past one and speed took him past the other. Converting his own try: 24-14, but time was running out with 12 minutes to go.
Kristian Martin did brilliantly to take a kick in his own 22 and call the mark. Expecting a clearance kick, he cleverly tapped to Matthews who caught the home side offside and Scunthorpe advanced again with Moortown slightly nervous. Great run by winger James down the left had the Greens near to half way before flanker Charlie Hunt would take it on further with James then collecting his return pass, but the ball would end up in the arms of the Moortown fullback . A superb passing move from the home side had to be halted by heroic Scunthorpe tackling. The ball came back to Scunthorpe and as Moortown were penalised for coming in from the side at the ruck, play was halted for an injured Moortown player, preventing the Greens taking an advantage. The Moortown player was on the opposite side of the pitch, nowhere near play. This delaying tactic cost Scunthorpe any momentum with three minutes to go. Eventually being allowed to kick to touch, a great lineout take was adjudged not to be straight and this decision cost the Greens dearly as it give Moortown possession of the ball and, as Scunthorpe committed men to the breakdown, trying to regain possession, a swift passing move caught them short on the right and the home side scored again and were now through to the Yorkshire Plate Final. Final Score 29 – 14 to Moortown.
Man of the match went to Jess Matthews for his terrier like tackling and quick thinking offensive. He was pushed close by fullback Matty Boden and flanker Josh Sarsfield, who both shone in a great team performance against very good opponents.
Best of luck to Moortown in the final in April.
1. Aiden Legge
2. Jack McGrath
3. Jon Rigby
4. Stephen Middleton
5. Matthew Wormold
6. Shea Matthews
7. Joshua Sarsfield
8. Lewis Meyer
9. Archie Swain
10. George Taylor
11. Piers Sciolti
12. Charlie Van Gils
13. Jess Matthews
14. Devon James
15. Matty Boden
16. Kristan Martin
17. Connor Graves
18. Isreal Spry-Brittain
19. Morgan Turner
20. Charlie Hunt
21. Ben Botham
Report by Carl meyer