Moray Rugby Club end Tennent’s Caledonia North Region Division 2 season on a high with victory over Banff Rugby Club

Moray completed their Tennent’s Caledonia North Region Division 2 season when they defeated Banff by 41 points to 33 in a thoroughly entertaining game at Banff last Saturday.

Scott Clarke reaching out to gather popped ball from Neil Alexander No 8. Photo: John Macgregor

The Elgin side kicked off on a great afternoon for running rugby and in the 12th minute, took the lead.

Some good driving play took them to a ruck 10 meters out. Scrum-half Calum Archibald broke blind, drew defenders and slipped the ball to stand-off Rory Millar to dot down an unconverted try.

Ewan Simpson being brought down to ground.  Neil Alexander and Rupert Holt supporting.  Photo: John Macgregor.
Ewan Simpson being brought down to ground. Neil Alexander and Rupert Holt supporting. Photo: John Macgregor.

Four minutes later, they added a second when following a penalty on the half-way, Archibald took a quick penalty and made great ground before releasing the ball to center Connor McWilliam to score another unconverted try in the corner.

Connor McWilliam beating the last Banff defender to score Moray's second try.  Photo: John Macgregor
Connor McWilliam beating the last Banff defender to score Moray’s second try. Photo: John Macgregor

In the 21st minute, Banff replied with an unconverted try, when they stole scrum ball in the Moray 22 and made the line.

Ten minutes later, the away side stretched the lead. A good piece of back play took them to a penalty, 5 meters out. A tap was taken and after a couple of drives, second-row Cameron Morrison-Smith changed direction and drove over the line. Millar added the conversion for a 17-5 Moray lead.

On the stroke of half-time, Moray added their bonus point try. Center Cameron Hughes ran directly at the defense and in contact put prop Mark Taylor into the gap to make the line for a score of 5-22 at the break.

Mark Taylor touches down for Moray's fourth try.  Photo: John Macgregor
Mark Taylor touches down for Moray’s fourth try. Photo: John Macgregor

Banff started the 2nd half brightly scoring a converted try.

In the 53rd minute, Moray wing-forward Calum Caven intercepted in the home half and had the pace to make the line at the posts. Millar added the extras to take the scores to 12-29.

Calum Caven breaking with Moray team-mate Archie Duncan in support.  Photo: John Macgregor
Calum Caven breaking with Moray team-mate Archie Duncan in support. Photo: John Macgregor

Six minutes later, the Banff side reduced the lead to 19-29 through a driving score by their forwards.

Moray immediately returned to the offensive and forced a penalty in the 22. A quick tap was taken and following a couple of drives, the ball was moved wide to wing Ewan Simpson who had the strength to make the line in the corner. A brilliant touchline conversion from Millar made it 19-36.

In the 66th minute, the Elgin side added a seventh. A mazy run by Archibald left defenders in his wake and a final pass saw wing Ben Taylor make the line for an unconverted try and 19-41.

Calum Archibald makes a break while team-mate Ben Taylor yells to let him know that he is his outside, ready for the score.  Photo: John Macgregor
Calum Archibald makes a break while team-mate Ben Taylor yells to let him know that he is his outside, ready for the score. Photo: John Macgregor

In the final two minutes and following a number of penalties, Banff scored a couple of converted tries for a final score of Banff 33 Moray 41.

Moray's Ewan Simpson taking contact.  Cameron Hughes coming to support.  Photo: John Macgregor
Moray’s Ewan Simpson taking contact. Cameron Hughes coming to support. Photo: John Macgregor

It had been five weeks since their last league game but the Moray side wanted to finish the season on a high and played some good open rugby.

Although all other fixtures have not yet been completed in the league, they will finish in a very creditable third position.

The way the team have played rugby has been very positive and exciting to watch and we all look forward to next season’s league campaign.


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