Heaton Moor Junior Colts 32, Southport 31
Heaton Moor’s preparations for their upcoming Lancashire Cup final continued with a narrow victory against Southport in an enthralling contest.
Both sides competed fiercely and only a last-minute try separated the sides.
Trevor Chappell got the hosts off to a flyer. After a penalty for a late tackle on Dylan Starkie, Moor won the lineout and organised an excellent maul to the line, Chappell applying the finish.
Fifteen minutes in, Southport struck back with a tidy move, opening up the Moor defence to take a two-point lead, having added the conversion.
Again though, Heaton Moor pressurised their opponents, Nick Tenney chasing his own kick, forcing the full back to err, and pounced for his try.
Back came Southport with pressure of their own and another converted try reasserted their lead.
On the stroke of half time, Dominic Rafferty’s quick thinking at a scrum proved decisive when he made room for Will Smith to score leaving the interval score at 15-14 in Moor’s favour.
Heaton Moor started the second half brightly as well, continuous effective mauling, driving Southport back, Dom Rafferty breaking to increase their lead to six points only three minutes in.
Ten minutes later Joe Kilbride outfought his opposite number in the air and sprinted clear to score, Tenney adding the extras to open up what looked a commanding lead.
But Southport kept fighting back and looked the more accomplished team with three excellently worked tries, the last one converted two minutes from time seemed to have sealed victory at 31-27.
But the final play saw Heaton Moor push the issue. The kick-off was grabbed out of the skies by prop Declan McGeehan, leading to phase after phase across the pitch, the coup de grace added when Joe Kilbride sent his younger brother Cameron through to score to give Heaton moor victory by the tiniest of margins in a brilliant advert for youth rugby.