After last weekend’s eleven-try demolition of Liverpool St Helens, Heaton Moor under-17s found the going much tougher against a very resolute Newcastle side in the Conference League with a 15-15 draw.
Having said that, they will look at this as points dropped when seemingly in a commanding 12-point lead with 20 minutes remaining.
It started so well, Moor’s forwards dominating the first half, some sturdy drives, in particular by Jonno Glanfield, Evan Coffey and Shane Ennis.
Two try attempts were held up before Mehdi Abid touched down for a deserved score, Nick Tenney adding the extras after 15 minutes.
From the resulting kick-off, Moor exerted even more pressure and were rewarded with a penalty after some hands in the ruck by the Staffordshire lads and Tenney extended the lead to 10 points.
Newcastle then found a foothold in the game with some slick passing moves as they notably grew in confidence. Their speed at the breakdown started to push Moor back and a penalty saw the lead down to seven at the break.
The second half resembled the first in that Moor came out of the blocks quickly.
From a lineout and drive, Will Green scored a try to give Moor what looked like a winning lead, Tenney just missing the conversion.
But again, Newcastle would not go away, fabulous determination and a few mistakes from the home time, and they pinned Heaton Moor into their own 22.
On 50 minutes they got their deserved try, the deficit now a converted score and their tails were up. The away side dominated the exchanges from this point and with three minutes remaining the pressure finally told as they crossed for a try with the conversion tying the game up.
Moor had one last opportunity to nick the result, but Bob Berry just couldn’t hold on to possession with a possible overlap looming and Newcastle got a deserved draw.