Capenhurst 36 Moore 40

Moore kept themselves in the promotion chase with a victory over a struggling Capenhurst side, but had to do it from chasing a 19 point deficit.

What looked an easy fixture on paper was anything but for Moore, as their hosts went all out in their efforts to stave off relegation. From the kick off, Moore demonstrated their ability to carve through the Capenhurst backline with ease with Joe Pidgeon nearly running the length of the field. However, Capenhurst would make a vital stop and would go on to dominate most of the half.

Capenhurst played a simple game, abetted by a very strong scrum, which saw them able to monopolise possession for long periods of time. Moore’s defence, which at times this season has been dominating, had an off day, with the hosts scoring early. This score was quickly replied to with another Joe Pidgeon break, this time which was recycled for a returning James Foulstone to score.

It was a rare bright spark as Capenhurst took hold of proceedings and were able to extend their lead as Moore were unable to fully get themselves into the game. Capenhurst went up to a 24-5 lead approaching the half, but a battling try from Prop Jayson Biddle would cut the deficet as Moore headed in at half time facing a tough 40 minutes to maintain their promotion challenge.

Moore responded excellently, with Fly Half Matt Bradshaw running the show with an excellent display of tactical kicking and some strong runs against the Capenhurst Defence. Bradshaw would prove to be the catalyst, first putting Jack Harvey through to score. Capenhurst would reply with a further try to re-establish a 10 point lead, but once again Bradshaw would carve through to score himself.

Moore were truly in the ascendency and were able to push in to the Capenhurst 22m more regularly. A knock on by Moore would result in a Capenhurst scrum in their own 22m, which was stolen against the head, providing an excellent base for an attack which would be finished by Tony Fretwell as Moore took the lead for the first time.

Capenhurst’s response would be determined, with a number of strong drives taking them up the field. Moore, perhaps lacking the size and power they usually possess would instead defend smartly, often remaining patient for up to 20 phases at a time and allowing Capenhurst to make their own mistakes. Moore were able to effectively deal with a sustained period of pressure and their reward was an excellent Sam Craven which saw Moore strengthen their position with just 10 minutes to go.

Capenhurst would go all out to draw something from the game and once again went through the phases to score, their Scrum Half completing a hat trick as he exploited gaps in the Moore defence. The conversion was missed meaning that Capenhurst had to score another try with 4 minutes to go.

Moore, who had been guilty of not living up to the standards in defence that they set themselves, picked up their game and made life difficult for the hosts. With Capenhurst camped out in the Moore 22m strong defending allowed Bradshaw to repeatedly send Capenhurst back with excellent clearing kicks. A final opportunity for Capenhurst came by way of a penalty which was kicked to the corner. The initial maul was dealt with expertly by Moore and from the resulting phases Capenhurst would eventually exhaust themselves in attack, with a free kick being given for crossing. This was joyfully booted into touch and Moore celebrated a hard fought victory.

Moore now have a week’s break before their return to action at home facing Village Spartans on Saturday 23rd March.

Tries – J. Foulstone, J. Biddle, J. Harvey, M. Bradshaw, T. Fretwell, S. Craven

Con – M. Bradshaw (5)