Ellon First XV were on the road this week, travelling to Invergordon in the Highlands to play Ross Sutherland. Looking to make it 6/6 Ellon were expecting a tough game as Ross Sutherland usually have big strong forwards who like to dominate games.
Ellon travelled with a small squad, with a number of players away with work, college and unable to make the long journey. 15 to start and two subs, it was great to see assistant coach Scott Munro put the boots on to support the team, along with stalwart John Keith. The backs took the biggest hit with players away, leading to Doug Sharp moving to the centres.
Ellon started extremely well with a well worked try using most of the team in the build-up. Ross S then took a penalty and missed letting Ellon counter attack. From this a missed drop goal, but Ellon came back for the penalty to go 0 – 10 up. This moved Ellon up another gear and they scored another 2 tries and a penalty before half time. Second half Ellon kept going, three more tries made it 0 – 46 before Ross S decided to move the ball a bit, three tries in a row for Ross S gave them a little pride, before Ellon finished the game with 2 more tries and a penalty. Final score 17 – 60 and a great performance. Shows how well the team is doing with a very weakened team heading to a long away game and winning that comfortably. Shows the depth in the squad is good.
Ellon are still top of the table, 6/6 with maximum points (including bonus point every game). Closest team is Mackie who Ellon beat comfortably in Stonehaven two weeks ago. Then Moray, who Ellon are yet to play (2nd December away).
Next is this Saturday in the League, home to Deeside who are 9th, having won 2 and lost 4.
At Youth level, Ellon played Gordonstoun in the Lancer Conference at U13 to U18.
U13 performed very well, beating a well-coached Gordonstoun team 27-15.
Ellon had a very strong first couple of periods scoring 4 and then 3 tries respectively (without conceding) in the first and second periods, they lost some momentum in the third period with the opposition making them pay for missed tackles scoring all of their tries. Overall the performance was much more consistent, holding to their defensive and attacking shape for much longer periods.
U14 Ellon missed out 27 – 29 with a late try to Gordonstoun winning the game. Ellon fell behind in the first third, before surging forward in the second and third. Ellon make lots of substitutions to ensure everyone got game time, this always disrupts the team a little, and Gordonstoun took advantage, using one big player for all three tries.
A similar occurrence at U15. Final score at U15 was 24 – 31.
In what was expected to be a close tough game, Ellon took the lead with a try from Archie Falconer as he took his trademark interception and ran 40m to score with Gordonstoun close on his tail. Ben Dickie converted. Gordonstoun then took the lead with two tries before Jack Duncan scored a powerful try on the wing with Ben converting. Half time was 14 -14 and probably the correct score for an even match. Jack was however playing for the U15 the next day so was rested to make sure he got decent game time. Second half started well with Fin Ritchie scoring on the wing as he moved forward from full back to wing. Ben just missed a long kick for the conversion, by cms. Scores came quickly with Gordonstoun scoring off the kick off, and then some great work by Ewan Orus to score for Ellon. Again Ben just missed a long kick for the conversion. With 43 minutes played Ellon were leading by 24 – 19. Gordonstoun pushed on and with 2 minutes left they equalised the game with a great try and then took the lead with a conversion. Ellon threw everything at the game trying to score in the last minute, but Gordonstoun broke on the counter attack and scored to finish the game 21 – 31. A game Ellon really should have won, they all felt a little deflated afterwards. Ellon drop to 4th in the table at half way through the league season, however they are only two points off top.
At U16 Ellon expected a strong performance from Gordonstoun, however Ellon dominated from the start. Ellon had their captain and Caley U16 player Caleb Jack away, but that didn’t take anything from their game. Taking a steady attack to Gordonstoun, with consistency in the attack play and defence. Final score was 44 – 17, securing Ellon U16 at top of the table at half way in the league.
Similarly at U18, Gordonstoun were top of the league and undefeated. Ellon expected a tough battle, but with a great supporting crowd, and a fantastic team performance, Ellon commanded the final quarter of game, winning 34 17. It was a very even game up to 55 minutes, where is was 17 – 17. Ellon stepped up another gear, with a great performance by Jordan Gray at centre. Ellon scored another 17 points in the final 15 minutes.
Ellon are 1 point behind Mackie in second place in the U18 conference at half way .
Over all it was even points to Gordonstoun and Ellon in the Over All Club Conference. Both teams get 2 points for playing at U13, and then 2 wins and 2 losses, both got 10 points.
Ellon are 2nd over all, 2 points behind Mackie, but 5 above Gordonstoun.
All to play for in the second half of the season, with home fixtures against Granite City and Dundee, away fixtures against Gordonstoun and Perthshire, and a fixed home/away against Mackie. Should be a great end to the League.
Youth now have two weeks without a game in the league due to the break. U18 are playing Hamilton in a friendly.
Juniors went to Aberdeen for a friendly festival, where Micros to P7 all played outstanding rugby. Numbers are up and the teams all doing very well. Future is bright!
Updated 17:37 - 11 Oct 2017 by Gareth D Kemp