Following a very well-planned and attended pre-season, Moore travelled to Newton, optimistic that they could push on and build on last season's cup triumph and try and claim that elusive top of the league finish.
Historically, encounters between the two sides have been bruising affairs, and im sure we can all remember the infamous incident a couple of years ago when the Moore No 8 introduced himself to the Newton winger!
Anyway, to today's game. Moore travelled with a strong side, containing three sets of brothers, The Cravens, The Harveys and the Whites, for a 3.30 kick-off in order to accommodate a few of the Newton lads to finish playing Rugby league and make the trip across the pitch to join the 15 man code.
That said, come 3.30, Newton were still at 12 men, and so we rested a couple of fellas back onto the bench. So the game got underway, and for the first 5 minutes, it looked like we may well have a proper tussle on our hands, with Newton exerting a fair bit of pressure. Moore defended well and broke from their 22 and the ball spun down the line, only for the ball to be knocked on. For the first ten minutes, the start of season rustiness was at play and the poor handling became a bit of a theme, with the forwards putting plenty of grunt in, only for the ball to be spilled as our backline began to make progress up the pitch. Max Holland quickly took matters into his own hands and burst over from 10 yards out to make it 5-0, with Player coach Bradders adding the two points. Newton restarted with a kick-off that was received by the Moore forwards. A prolonged passage of forward play, with the ball going through a number of forwards hands, saw Max Holland cross for his second, Bradders again converting. At this point, it looked like it was going to be a forwards game, with Moore owning possession with a high rate of recycling. However, Sam White, playing at 12 had other ideas, and in a delightful move which saw the ball spin out from the pack to the young centre, he was able to cross for his first of the day. In scenes reminiscent of gone with the wind, Bradders missed the conversion. Moore 17, Newton 0. Play restarted and as Newton gained more players from the now finished rugby league match, Moore weren’t having it all their own way, with Newton coming close to scoring. Some exquisite defending saw Newton spill the ball and with some slick interplay between forwards and backs Jacob White, brother of Samuel, showed the trailing defenders a clean pair of heels and crossed the Whitewash. For a small village with no airport, Moore weren’t doing bad here, Bradders took the conversion to give him a 50% success rate so far, making it 24-0 at Half time.
After a quick surge to the bar for the travelling supporters, the second way quickly got underway, and despite a couple of unsuccessful jinking runs in the first half, Henry Frankling was presented with an opportunity he wasn’t going to miss, scoring under the sticks, giving Bradders an easy conversion to slot home. 31-0 to the visitors.
What happened next was quite bizarre, and not something I had seen happen before. Newton decided to go for a short kick-off, however, the wind carried the ball backward into the Newton half, Jacob White, brother of Samuel, showed an alertness reminiscent of fruit beagles at Sydney airport, and reacted quickly, scooping up the ball and going the full length of the pitch to score the unlikeliest of tries, giving Bradders an easy conversion 38-0.
Play ebbed and flowed, with Newton becoming frustrated. This frustration came to the surface with one of the home side punching the Moore evergreen back row, Woollacott, which saw the offender receive a red card.
Moore were looking to capitalise, but the game was then marred by a high tackle. At this point, the match reporter was having a drink, unlike Max Holland, whose frustration at no drink was getting the better of him, and was clearly unaware of a drought in WA12 9XE. Anyway, one way or another there was a high tackle, either given or received which saw Del Boy in a fair bit of pain with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
Del boy left the field and assisted by Ladies Captain Jessie Holland headed to a blue ISO container. After much grunting, heaving and moaning, the pair emerged from the container all smiles, with Delboy declaring he was good to go again. Not really sure what had occurred.
Anyway, time for Newton to cross the whitewash, after a period of sustained pressure making the score 38-5, with the conversion missed. After an initial opening period of rustiness, the Moore backline were now really enjoying themselves as the clock run down, with slick hands giving Bradders the opportunity to score, converting his own try 45-5. As The game entered injury time , due to Delboys unplanned disruption, Moore put together probably their finest move of the game, with the ball going from the forwards, right through every backs hand, eventually reaching Matt Mossop, who crossed to make it 50-5 with Bradders missing the conversion
All in all a good first hit out, under new captain Ben Craven, brother of Samuel Craven. If someone had offered the Moss lane side a season starting 50-5 win away from home at Newton, they would have taken it all day long. However, always looking to improve things, speaking after the match, Ben Craven, brother of Samuel Craven, thanked all those who had pulled the black and gold on, the travelling of Army of spectators and said if Jess and Delboy hadn’t been making so much noise in the portacabin, and distracting the players, he could easily have seen another couple of tries being run in.
Best wishes to Delboy for a speedy recovery and see you all at Moss Lane for the visit of Mossley Hill