1st XV
Sat 25 Feb 2023  ·  Regional 2 North East
Selby RUFC
1st XV
Tries: A Parkinson, R Callau, A Webster, D Reid, C BramleyConversions: H Wright (3)Penalties: H Wright (2)


Selby RUFC2 Mar 2023 - 08:44
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Report by Ray Adamson

League leaders Moortown arrived at Sandhill Lane expecting to secure the bonus point victory that would edge them closer to the title, whilst much improved Selby knew that any points gained would help in their battle to stay away from the relegation zone. A magnificent performance underpinned by heroic defence and at times breath-taking attack saw the home side upset the form book to claim an outstanding victory and present near neighbours Pontefract with the chance to snatch the title from Moortown as the season approaches its finale.

Things looked ominous from the kick off as the visitors played with the elements in their favour and scored within 4 minutes, a scrum on half way saw the powerful Moortown pack shunt Selby backwards and the backs switched play cleverly to create the space for Joe Parkin to run in close to the posts, presenting Xavier Martin with a straightforward conversion and an early 7 points advantage.

Undaunted by this early setback, Selby were straight onto the attack and gained their first scoring opportunity within 2 minutes as Moortown conceded a penalty from the re-start. Henry Wright saw his kick at goal bounce back off the upright but Selby were able to re-claim possession, almost scoring in the left hand corner before Moortown were again penalised close to the sticks and Wright made no mistake with the kick at goal.

What then followed was an absolutely golden patch for the young Selby side who raced to a 4 try bonus point in a 20 minute spell of outstanding Rugby. Their first try came from a move started back in their own 22 when Wright’s perfectly weighted kick released Dan Reid wide on the left flank. Confronted by a number of defenders, Reid opted to chip and chase, only to be tripped as he crossed into the Moortown half. From the resulting penalty Wright was able to find touch deep in the Moortown 22. A clean catch at the line out and a perfectly executed driving maul saw skipper Ash Parkinson plunge over for the try wide out on the left. Wright was unable to add the conversion but Selby had their noses in front at 8-7 with just under a quarter of the match played.

22 minutes had elapsed when the Selby backs stunned the visiting support with a sweeping movement that saw full back Ruben Callau score his first try since returning to Selby colours. A half break by Alex Webster and a sublime back of the hand offload in the tackle found “Bob” Robinson in support on the Moortown 22 with Callau close by on the inside to take the scoring pass and run round to give Wright a much easier conversion, the kick stretching Selby’s lead to 15-7.

Even better was to follow just 5 minutes later as Selby’s smothering defence forced Moortown to opt to kick on the half way line. Webster had read the situation to perfection and was able to charge the kick down and re-gather the ball on the 10 metre line, leaving himself with a clear run to the line under the posts. Wright’s conversion stretched the home side’s advantage to 15 points at 22-7 and gave Selby’s supporters belief that a real upset might be on the cards.

Moortown responded with their best spell of the half, driving Selby back into their own 22 and forcing a number of penalties, which they chose to kick to the corner. Despite regaining possession on several occasions the visiting forwards were unable to find any way through the resolute Selby rearguard. With the forwards having conceded a number of penalties, it was no surprise when the referee eventually showed a yellow card to Parkinson for one indiscretion too many, with 10 minutes to go to half time. The setback served only to further galvanise the Selby defence as they repelled numerous assaults on their try line before eventually gaining the penalty which allowed Wright to clear down field. With 3 minutes to go to half time and still one player down, Selby struck again when turning over possession on the Moortown 10 metre line and assured running and support down the blind side created the room for Reid to run in close to the corner flag to seal the bonus point at 27 points to 7.

Such was the determination of the Selby defence that, when Moortown were awarded a penalty with half time approaching, the visitors opted to kick for goal from just inside the Selby half rather than go to the corner, despite still having an extra player in the forwards. The kick drifted wide of the left hand upright and Selby were able to go into the break with a staggering 20 point advantage.

With the elements in their favour and confidence gained from an outstanding first 40 minutes, Selby were soon back on the attack and it was no real surprise when they extended their lead further 12 minutes into the second half. Moortown had done well to resist a number of strong drives by the Selby forwards but were unable to prevent a score when scrum half Charlie Bramley spotted the smallest of gaps on the Moortown line to burrow his way over for a well deserved score. Wright’s conversion extended the Selby advantage to 34 points to 7 and Moortown knew that any chance of victory was some distance away.

Indeed, Selby were within one pass of going still further ahead, having again laid siege to the Moortown line, only for the visitor’s full back Dylan Wepener to intercept and literally run the length of the pitch to score under the posts, Xavier’s conversion reducing the Selby lead back to 20 points. Energised by their good fortune, Moortown threw everything they had at the Selby defence, but the home side were in no mood to give up their hard earned advantage, with forwards and backs alike throwing themselves into a staunch rearguard action as Moortown went through phase after phase without ever looking likely to break through.

With 77 minutes gone Selby were again reduced to 14 men when Alex Webster was yellow carded, having been penalised for illegally slowing down Moortown’s possession around the Selby 22 and on this occasion the visitors soon took advantage of the extra man with Sheridan Farley crossing and Harry Collier adding the extras to give his side the hope of at least securing a 4 try bonus. The referee adjudged there to be an additional 5 minutes of extra time to be played and with a one man deficit, Selby had to again dig deep into their reserves of energy to maintain their lead. Having driven their way back into Moortown territory Selby were finally able to seal the victory when forcing a penalty advantage around the visitor’s 22. A speculative drop goal attempt by Wright failed to hit the target but the resulting penalty gave him the chance to add a further 3 points and complete a victory which will be long remembered as one of Selby’s finest performances for quite some time.

Match details

Match date

Sat 25 Feb 2023




Regional 2 North East

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