Ellon First XV were looking to keep their unbeaten record going last weekend, and this month a few tough league games. After beating Aberdeen Grammar Seconds last weekend, they welcomed back a couple of players, but lost a few more as work cycles change.
It was gale force winds at the Meadows at kick off making things hard for both Ellon and RAF Lossiemouth, however Ellon started well by kicking a penalty under the posts for a 3 – 0 lead. Attacking well, Ellon gained a scrum and this scrum was to show the way for the young Ellon pack. They totally dominated the scrum, driving Lossiemouth back 15 m, under a penalty advantage, they pushed over the line and as the RAF scrum half dived in offside, a penalty try was awarded. 10 – 0.
RAF had a little something up their sleeve as they went quick from a free kick and ran a 45m try in with a few passes and a great conversion into the wind. 10 – 7.
Douglas Sharp ran from a pick up at Eight at a scrum, made 20m and offloaded to Brad Fraser to beat two backs to score wide. Conversion missed. 15 – 7.
Ellon got another penalty kicked by Stewart Cruickshank just before half time. 18 – 7.
Wind had picked up and now Ellon had it in the face. Nathan Emery ran the ball hard from the centres and gained a penalty for Ellon, who chose the scrum. The passing from the scrum went astray, but Ellon were awarded another Penalty and chose to kick, converted by Stewart Cruickshank. 21- 7.
RAF attacked hard for 10 minutes and the Ellon defence did exceptionally well to hold out. They turned the ball over and ran hard to get a try for Brad Fraser with a conversion to Ali Addy. 29 – 7. Ellon had three tries and were looking for the bonus 4th, but well aware RAF had a strong attack.
At the next lineout Ellon got a great maul rolling. The did well to hold the player up after an attempted sack. They made 30m, Jim Hamilton style! It ended with a penalty for collapsing the maul. Ellon went for touch and mauled again, making another 20m and spinning to the other wing for Henry Cole to score the bonus point try. With Addy adding the extras. 36 – 7. Ross Greig, who has been settling back into the team after a period at Shire, had been running well all day, got his reward by scoring under the posts and Addy getting the extras.
RAF managed a consolation try at the end as Ellon let the guard down, but the final score was 42 – 12. A good win against a very physical RAF team.
Ellon secure their top place and are one of two teams in Scotland who still maintain an unbeaten run. 5 points clear of Garioch and 9 clear of Moray. Next up for Ellon is Deeside away in a double header, cup and League, Saturday away in Banchory with a 13:30 KO..
Within the Youth Lancer Conference, Ellon Welcomed Granite City over the weekend, hoping to push hard in the league. It was to be a perfect weekend for the Youth squads, who took maximum points over the Granite City teams, while Ellon’s rivals, Mackie, lost two games. This led to Ellon being top of the Whole Club Conference, 2 points over Mackie.
U13 play a development game due to their age. Both clubs came with good numbers and made a great fixture. Granite City took an 11 – 0 lead over the first 2 thirds. 3 tries and 2 conversions. Ellon fought back and tightened up to make it 11 – 11 at the end.
At U14 Granite City had too low numbers so a mixed game was played with Ellon Winning 54 – 15. U15 and U16 had fantastic games:
At U15 Ellon lost their steady stand-off of Stevie Gary and big second row Reese Melling as they both moved to U16 to assist the Ellon team. Ellon U15 still had a squad of 17 which gave all players more game time.
Adam Fowlie was back for his first game of the season after injury.
Ellon won the toss and chose the end with the weather behind them and kicked off. Starting well and regaining the ball, they spun the ball wide to Adam Fowlie on the wing to score in his first minute back in competitive rugby. Conversion missed. Ellon then worked hard to maintain the ball as Granite City were physical at the breakdown. A scrambled defence by Granite City got the ball to touch. Ellon had practiced a few mauls this week and took the opportunity to catch and drive. All forwards in and the pack went over for a try which Kieran Falconer got. Conversion missed. 10 – 0.
Granite city took advantage of some slack defence, as Ellon looked to attack, but lost the ball. Ellon struggled to get backs in place, and Granite City ran in an unconverted try.
Ellon regained from the kick off and from a ruck knock on got the scrum. Dominating the scrum all afternoon, Ellon moved the ball via Ben Dickie, who after the second phase, went over for a try, converted by himself. 17 – 5.
Granite city then broke the Ellon line using one of their big runners. A certain try, until Ewan Orus at fullback chased him and made a great cover tackle from behind. Ellon rallied from this and held Granite City out, allowing a counter attack via Archie Falconer, who scored and converted by Ben. 24 – 5.
Adam Fowlie then went on to score two more tries and complete his first half hat trick, one converted by Ben. Half time score was 36 – 5.
Second half Granite City gained some possession and turned it into an unconverted try, as again Ellon backs got sucked into the breakdown area leaving the back line with gaps. 36 – 10.
Calum Caven then ran from second row receiving the ball at a penalty, breaking tackles and driving over to score. 41 – 10. Fin Hagen from 8 started to organise the pack to keep the momentum up, which resulted in him driving over to score. 46 – 10. As play came back to Granite City half, Lewis Milne drove over with a strong body position to score his first of the season. Ben made the conversion. 53 – 10.
Josh Andrew playing at stand-off cut a good line to be fed by Ben Dickie. He crashed over for a score. 58 – 10.
Final score went to Fin Hagen with a set move from number 8 as he picked and went, while the team went another way. Driving over a winger to score.
Final score was 63 – 10. With the game being stopped 10 mins early as the 50-point deficit had been reached.
Man of the match went to Archie Falconer, whose all round game play was excellent, and played a half at flanker, where he excelled.
Support player to Fin Hagen who ran all afternoon.
Best Rugby Attitude joint to Adam Fowlie on his first game back and a first half hat trick, along with Logan Vavangas who was underneath every forwards run tackling and disrupting.
This result moved Ellon U15 up to second, 1 point behind Gordonstoun and joint with Perthshire. Mackie are 4th, 1 point behind Ellon. Close at the top in this league. Ellon play Mackie Sunday 14:00 ko at Ellon Meadows it the big local derby.
U16 had the result of the weekend. Turned over at the away game at the start of the season, Granite City thought they had this game won easily. After a battling first half, Granite City went to the break in the lead. Ellon came out on fire second half and ran in try after try, taking a great win for the team 42 – 24.
Finally U18 won 40 – 7 in what was a rough game, with the referee having to be on his toes to maintain the flow.
That places Ellon top at U16, second at U18 and U15, with all to play for this weekend against Mackie. U15 and U14 are at home, while U18, U13 and U16 away.
Over all Ellon are top of the League for whole club!
Finally Ellon Girls also played last weekend as Grampian Girls
Updated 15:27 - 7 Nov 2017 by Gareth D Kemp
The Girls continue to clock up the miles to get game time and this week it was a visit to the excellent new Highland RFC facility and artificial pitch.
The U15 had 9 available and they played Highland again in 13 a side game with players from Ross Sutherland and Plockton to make it 13 a side. The game which was closely contested with excellent handling and tackling from both sides ended 41-38 to Highland, the game was watched by Inverness Girl and Scotland No 8 Jade Konkel who was very positive about the standard of play
The U18 travelled with 14 which considering a number of players were missing was a good number, Fife travelled up to play Grampian Girls with depleted numbers so it was played 12 a side. The first half was closely contested with Fife/Tayside leading by one try 24-17, unfortunately in the second half the opposition scored a number of breakaway tries and Grampian Girls who lost two to injury could not score again and it finished 57-17 which when look at some of the phases of play it did not reflect their efforts.
Some will wonder why Ellon are traveling such distances to play the same teams, the purpose of the North Girls Merit Conference at the beginning of this season is to get them game time in the North of Scotland before they start to travel to or host teams from further afield in the national competitions. Last year they went into National Competitions having played one game, this season they have already had 4 at U18 and 5 at U15. The next stage is to take on better teams, as in order to improve they must be challenged and made to work hard. In terms of what they have got from these first set of games is development of the skill levels and team work of an enthusiastic group of players who now are more able to withstand the tests that match play bring. As coaches Ellon are seeing development and improvement by all the girls, they now have girls who had never played a competitive match desperate for the next game. It is almost like #BeTheBestYou was written for them!