Ellon Rugby First XV are still in the middle of the International break. While the Youth Section had no game last Sunday. This left the Juniors and Girls sections to provide Sundays rugby excitement after Scotland doing so well against New Zealand on the Saturday.
Ellon Girls took 15 to Edinburgh today as part of Grampian Girls squad. ?
Big games against better opposition with both teams facing tough tests today. Lots of fine individual performances and teams skills coming on, with a marked improvement at the breakdown. Worth mentioning that Cartha U18 are undefeated this season and most of their U15 squad play for Shawlands who are in the schools cup final on Wednesday. Ellon don’t do easy games!
The coaches are very proud of all the girls this week.
Grampian Girls (GG) travelled south with 20 U18 and 14 U15 and it was great to go where they knew they would face a full strength opposition
U18 Cartha Girls who are undefeated this year and they had some Lismore Girls thrown in for good luck.
At the start GG were a bit slow to get into the game which allowed Cartha an early try, after giving themselves a good talking too GG girls started hitting the breakdown in numbers and from then on they won some good turnover ball and retained a lot of their own posssession. The first half was dominated by Cartha backs who ran at GG at speed and despite GG having some good periods of possession they turned at the half 0-22 down. They started the second half well but again were beaten for pace allowing Cartha to stretch to a 0-34 lead, this was despite GG carrying ball well And the forwards competing well at the breakdown, after the try to Cartha, GG girls attacked the restart kick and after a bit of end to end stuff, broke from a penalty which was kept in play and kicked over to turn the opposition, with Eilidh Pirie chasing her own kick and collecting to score.
It was clear despite the score line being out of their reach all the girls were enjoying the game and were putting in some excellent tackles which got better as the game went on, in very quick succession GG lost Kirsty McGregor and Rebecca Bestwick to head knocks and the ref called time with GG losing 51-5. While the score may suggest a one sided game, the reality was different and the improvement from the girls since the start of the season has been outstanding, GG scrum dominated, however Cartha owned the line out, which provides some things to work on. Again GG had three girls on their first outing with U18 Niamh Mariner, Eve Learmonth and Isobel Couttie.
The Grampian Girls (GG) U15's Played in the East/ West/ North and it got of to a positive start against Lismore with an early score from April McKenzie. Things looked comfortable enough in the early exchanges though both teams seemed a little off the pace. Lismore hit straight back with some hard running and decent tackling that was helped by a few inaccuracies in handling and at the break down by the GG girls. Despite a very dominant scrum GG conceded a try almost immediately and the first half finished with Grampian 7 points to 5 in the lead. Under pressure from the start of the second half Lismore scored a further 2 unconverted tries before GG were able to come back with a further 7 points thanks to some hard running from Alia Ronald. Time ran out for GG with Lismore 15-14 winners after the thirty minute match. Overall the girls played well, but offloads not going to hand and a lack of sharpness at the breakdown cost GG a game they could have won.
After a short break GG took on a confident and well drilled Cartha side looking to hit space and run hard. Their aggression and sharp decision making gave GG alot of problems early on though they were able to hang on well and it was ten minutes into the fifteen minute half before Cartha crossed the line. Though the girls upped their intensity and improved their breakdown they were unable to get the ball outside of 12 often enough to really threaten. Cartha were a very hard tackling team and both sides starting putting in the big hits, particularly Captain Sophie Orr who lead from the front against a side they couldn't in the end break down. Despite putting up a real fight and showing flashes of what we are capable of in the end Cartha ran in 5 unanswered tries to win 27-nil. Though the girls were disappointed they played really well all afternoon. In the end, small inaccuracies and a too polite approach at the breakdown and in the tackle was the difference between the two teams. Grampian Girls U15's will learn from this and come back stronger in the second half of the season. They should be proud of what they have achieved so far and work hard to continue to improve and enjoy their rugby.
Meanwhile at the Meadows on Sunday, Ellon hosted a local festival for P2 to P7. Over three hundred children playing rugby from Tag to full contact. It was fantastic to see so many young children enjoying sport on a sunny winters day. There were not scores kept as it was a festival, however the games were all very competitive.
This coming weekend, Ellon First XV continue with their international break, returning away to Moray in Elgin on the 2nd December. Ellon Youth should be playing against Dundee at home, but it looks like the weather may be the winner this weekend as all local grass is water logged. That would leave all to play for in a very tight Conference, next weekend was Ellon Youth head to Gordonstoun for all games on the Saturday.
Updated 23:26 - 30 Nov 2017 by Gareth D Kemp