Dids­bury edge win on re­sump­tion of derby clash

Stockport Express - - Sport - TONY KIRKHAM

MOOR wel­comed Dids­bury Toc H to Green Lane for a re­newal of ac­quain­tances that has been sorely missed of late af­ter a pe­riod of sev­eral years where both clubs have plied their trade in the Cheshire and Lan­cashire Com­pe­ti­tions re­spec­tively.

Moor ,who have made a solid start to the league cam­paign, were look­ing to record a sec­ond home win in seven days.

But in­juries badly af­fected the start­ing line up, par­tic­u­larly in the back di­vi­sion where full­back Matt Hughes’ pace would be sorely missed along with cen­tre Chris Sut­ton, who was forced to with­draw be­fore the game with a haematoma.

That re­quired back row Kings­ley Child to switch to the three quar­ter, much to the heart­break of his brother Danny and all Moor sup­port­ers.

Toc in con­trast have made a stut­ter­ing start to the sea­son but now ap­pear to be find­ing their feet and have gath­ered some mo­men­tum in re­cent weeks. The Moor coaches were cer­tainly aware that it was not go­ing to be an easy game.

The game kicked off on a re­s­plen­dent Green Lane sur­face with the Moor pack very much to the fore with some ex­cel­lent picks and drives that forced Toc on to the back foot.

The story of the game looked like it would be the Moor pack ver­sus the youth of the Dids­bury pace­men as the home side ap­peared dom­i­nant in the early set piece with the first Toc scrum com­pletely oblit­er­ated by the Moor 8.

De­spite the strong start from the home side the Toc de­fence showed no sign of buck­ling un­til a side en­try at the break­down saw the ref­eree pe­nalise the vis­i­tors with fly half Jack Wil­son tak­ing three points to open the scor­ing.

From the restart, Moor them­selves con­ceded a penalty that al­lowed Toc to set their own plat­form through the for­wards which al­lowed them to build the phases and pres­sure be­fore the ball was moved left via some adroit han­dling that out­flanked the Moor de­fence for an ex­cel­lent score in the corner.

The con­ver­sion was missed, how­ever.

Moor im­me­di­ately came back strongly and, af­ter some good play be­tween the backs and for­wards, won a penalty more or less in front of the posts.

A de­ci­sion was then made to opt for a scrum where all of those of us with the ben­e­fit of hind­sight knew the ball should have been popped over for a 6-5 lead.

With hopes high of a pushover, the ball was heeled only for it bounce ag­o­nis­ingly in to the Toc side of the scrum where it was im­me­di­ately run out of de­fence. The im­pres­sive Tom Ire­land turned the ball over for cen­tre Chris Og­den Smith only for the a long pass to be in­ter­cepted and the Toc cen­tre glee­fully went the length of the field to see what should have been 6-5 be­come 3-12.

Moor’s af­ter­noon then took a se­ri­ous turn south af­ter tight head prop Sam Ire­land sent to the sin bin.

To their credit, the Moor boys held out for the du­ra­tion of Sam’s sin-bin­ning only for Toc to score an­other good try af­ter again pa­tiently build­ing through the phases that saw the blind­side flanker crash over from short range to take the score to 3-17.

Moor set about turn­ing the game around by get­ting the first score of the sec­ond half af­ter a su­perb catch and drive from a li­ne­out which started from out­side the Toc 22

The Moor 8 marched their op­po­site num­bers back over their own line, re­sult­ing in back row Luke Shel­borne flop­ping over the line in what was an out­stand­ing piece of for­ward play us­ing skill, nous, dis­ci­pline and no short­age of grunt to pull the score back to 8-17.

As the half wore on, Moor started to take con­trol of pro­ceed­ings.

Af­ter an­other piece of su­perb for­ward play, No 8 Ben Jones pow­ered over from short range to make it 15-17 af­ter the con­ver­sion. With hopes now high of a come­back, Moor con­ceded a poor score af­ter a turnover close to the Moor line al­lowed Toc to score from short range to pull the lead out to 22-15.

But Moor fi­nally achieved par­ity af­ter good work from the for­wards al­lowed Ben Jones the plat­form from the scrum to take the ball to just short of the line where tight­head Ire­land ap­plied a great fin­ish from close range that was eas­ily con­verted to set up a grand stand fin­ish with the scores locked at 22-22.

For all the world it looked as though Moor were go­ing to push for a vic­tory that seemed so un­likely at half time as they in­ter­cepted a poor Dids­bury li­ne­out only to lose pos­ses­sion in mid­field, al­low­ing Toc’s pacy left wing to run hard at his op­po­site num­ber. A slick off­load to his inside sup­port run­ner set up the fi­nal score of the day to take the game 29-22.

In con­clu­sion, a su­perb game of rugby be­tween close ri­vals played in good spirit.

Moor can take good heart from work­ing their way back in to a game that looked like they were go­ing to win. The for­wards to a man were su­perb but full credit to Toc for ab­sorb­ing all that was thrown at them and pulling off the win.

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