“Close for the First XV! A great 60 mins as they rally are developing. And a great lineout and scrum”
Gareth Kemp, Director of Rugby
With the First XV back in action last weekend, Ellon travelled to Inverurie to take on local rivals Garioch. In a hotly anticipated game there was a good crowd down to watch the game. Ellon started well, taking the ball to Garioch and Ellis Swainston scoring using his power from the second row. Garioch scored 7 minutes later to even it at 5 – 5, before Ellon scored again via Callum Cruickshank. Garioch scored and then converted, in a half that the teams exchanged tries. Ben Shirron slotted a penalty to take the lead 12 – 13 into half time. Ellon then held on for 10 minutes into the second half, but two missed tackles as the team was stretched out wide, led to two Garioch tries. A couple of injuries to Ellon didn’t help things and Garioch used their bench well to push their lead. Final score was 34 – 13 to Garioch, but the score did not reflect the game. A close first half led to a decent second half. The difference being some depth in the Garioch team and a little more experience. Ellon dominated the scrum and the line out. It won’t be long for the rematch as this is scheduled for 29th October at Ellon. Up next is Aberdeen Grammar Seconds in Aberdeen, who only drew up in Shetland at the weekend. Ellon sit 4th in the league, and a win this weekend will see them take 3rd and move to the top half of the league. This is all before any adjustments, as Aberdeen may be fined points for missing a game.
In the Red conference it was Ellon v Mackie all weekend.
At U18 on Saturday Ellon took on a joint team of Mackie/Aberdeen/Garioch. Ellon played hard, and took the game to Mackie. With a slightly weakened team, Ellon played well and scored the first two tries before Mackie got on back. This however spurred Ellon on and the prevented Mackie scoring game, while racing in 10 tries and 4 conversions in total for a final score of 58 – 5.
Sunday saw 4 games played and four losses for the Ellon teams.
Low numbers at U16 didn’t help, but Mackie were very clinical and kept the pressure up to win 0 – 50, while at U15 it was 9 – 40.
U14 Saw Ellon start the best they had for a long time. Playing on a smaller pitch helped as the team is learning their defence. Mackie however scored two tries before Ellon responded with a very physical Adam Fowlie scoring on the stroke of the break. This third finished 3 – 7.
The second third started with a knock to two Ellon players, who were rested. They did however have great lines and only a couple of handing errors and some spirited line defence prevented Ellon going in winning that third. Ben Dickie scored for Ellon, while Mackie scored 4. 3 – 15 that third.
The final third Ellon were down to 11 for a period. Mackie came down to 13 to make if a little more even, but Ellon struggled to hold Mackie at bay as they scored 5 tries. However after a chat by the coaches, Ellon tight 5 really came on and some fantastic running, passing and support, created a great team try for Josh Watson to score his first ever try for Ellon in the Youth Section! The best try of the day by any team, as the U14 boys used speed and strength to get behind the opposition and support to move forward, passing to the backs to finish. If they play like that consistently they will do well in the second half of this league. Final third finished 3 – 18, with the total score 9 – 40. Mackie show why they are unbeaten in this league.
Awards for today: Best Forward was Calum Caven, Best Back was Ben Dickie and Best Rugby Attitude to Fin Hagen.
Ellon U13 played a strong Mackie team. The first period opened with Mackie electing to receive the ball from the kick off to gain possession and carry the game to Ellon. The Ellon lads managed to slow the Mackie advance with some good tackles and the rucks were fairly even at this early stage in the match, however Mackie were advancing ever steadily towards the try line and Mackie scored from the back of a scrum at five minutes into the period. Ellon took the restart quickly and applied their own pressure, hitting up the middle of the field to gain ground then moving the ball wide for Ryan Dickie to score in the eighth minute. The rest of this period saw some good scrum work by both teams and a lot of hard hitting action in the middle of the field with neither team managing to break through strong defences. Mackie just applied that little bit more pressure and Ellon were caught on the back foot as Mackie scored in the final minute of the first period. Ellon one converted try to Mackie’s two converted tries.
The second period started with Ellon receiving the ball, however Mackie were very fast with their line speed and put Ellon under pressure which resulted in a few handling errors which Mackie took advantage of moving the ball to their wings and scoring within two minutes, followed closely by another try two minutes later, again moving the ball to the wings. The Ellon boys then pulled their socks up and started to make their tackles and hold Mackie in the middle of the pitch. The scrums were a little messy with Mackie applying pressure and wheeling the scrum more than 45 degrees which resulted in a penalty to Ellon. Again Ellon made it hard for themselves by trying to bash through the middle of the field and eventually losing a ruck where Mackie took advantage, moved the ball wide again and ran in another try in the eighth minute. Mackie then turned up the pressure and full back Daniel Gillies made some impressive try saving tackles to stop Mackie, however Mackie scored again in the final minute of the period. Mackie score four converted tries and unfortunately none for Ellon.
The final period opened again with the Ellon lads under pressure from Mackie resulting in a score within two minutes for Mackie. Ellon then lost Sam Douglas to a knee injury and he was off the field. This final period saw some great moments of good play by Ellon as they never gave up, however it also exposed the support play needed to be better and rucking needed to be stronger. Mackie did not dominate the final period, however lack of support play by Ellon allowed Mackie to turn over the ball time and time again which resulted in Mackie running in five tries in the last period. The Ellon lads should not be too disappointed in the score line as there were some tremendous phases of play and plenty to be proud of however it just didn’t come together on the day.
Awards for today: Best Forward was Sam Douglas, Best Back was Daniel Gillies and Best Rugby Attitude to Liam Ritchie.
This now marks half way in the Red Conference.
Up next for Ellon Youth is Aberdeen Rugby in Aberdeen. With no U18 or U15 team, Ellon receive the points for these games. U16 will be played at Ellon Sunday 13:00, while U13 and U14 is 12:00 KO Sunday, at Rubislaw.
Ellon Juniors also head to Aberdeen Sunday as the whole club First XV, Youth and Juniors play Aberdeen Grammar.
Updated 01:34 - 11 Oct 2016 by Gareth D Kemp