Alloa travelled to Elgin on Saturday for this rearranged cup-tie and despite the long journey they made a good start against Caledonia NE Division 2 league leaders, Moray. Alloa applied some early pressure and from a typical Rab Truesdale burst through the Centre’s he appeared to set up Fraser Donaldson with a perfectly timed pass out wide. The young winger sprinted over the line for an easy score under the post, but incredibly the referee called the play back as he adjudged Truesdale’s pass to be forward.
This disappointment was further compounded moments later when some slack passing in midfield was pounced upon by the Moray Centre who ran in unopposed from the half way line. The pacy centre caused lots of problems all afternoon ably supported by his Stand Off who also turned in a good performance. The young No 10 stretched their lead by 3 points from a penalty straight in front of the posts when the referee penalised an Alloa forward for illegally playing the ball on the deck.
Alloa quickly responded to this setback with a score of their own. A period of sustained pressure had the Moray defence stretched and Truesdale made the most of the space out wide to score a converted try and peg back the deficit to 3 points.
Both sides were evenly matched and this made for a highly entertaining contest for the large crowd who had turned out in force and the home supporters were once again cheering when the Stand Off kicked a penalty from out wide. A further try quickly followed and the first half scoring was complete with another penalty immediately before the break.
Despite the 21-7 score line, Alloa were still very much in this game and they can count themselves unlucky when Graham Ross appeared to have barged his way over for a clear score only for the referee to once again deny the visitors when he deemed the ball to have been held up over the line. Once again this let off was punished when Moray extended their lead with 2 more penalties.
This really was an end to end affair, however, Alloa were unable to put points on the board when in the opposition’s half and were unlucky again to have a try denied when the referee decided Rab Truesdale, like Graham Ross earlier, was held up over the line.
The home side’s victory was effectively sealed when they pounced on a misplaced kick deep in their own half. The ball was then cleverly shipped out wide for the winger to finish in the corner.
To their credit Alloa never gave up and their effort was rewarded with a Dale Foster score which was converted by Matt Allan.
Whilst the home side showed just why they are unbeaten in their 12 league games so far this season, the 34-14 scoreline was a little unkind to Alloa who had lots of chances, but failed to convert these into points. Steven Jack was deservedly awarded Alloa’s man of the match for another fine performance in the 2nd row and Dale Foster also picked up Moray’s game sponsors man of the match.
Alloa can now concentrate on League business and they will once again face a long trip north when they face Strathspey on Saturday 7th March hoping to eradicate some of the mistakes and turn pressure into points.