“Strong results against tough Perthshire home teams have put Ellon Top of the league again. Great work by the players and coaches. ”
Gareth Kemp, Youth Head Coach.
After last week’s slightly disappointing results against Mackie, Ellon were focused this weekend in a trip to Perthshire Rugby, at North Inch, Perth.
Ellon started the weekend in second place overall to Mackie, by 2 points.
On the Saturday the U18 travelled down and put on a strong performance against a much improved Perthshire team. Ellon took the lead early and maintained it throughout the game, however Perthshire did come back towards the end. Final score Perthshire 10, Ellon 13. Ellon sit second in the league, three points off Mackie, but hopefully safely securing a National Cup place.
Sunday saw the U13-U16 travel to North Inch, all teams had 2 minutes silence for Armistice Sunday. U16 arrived to find Perthshire unable to get a team together, so played a development game. Ellon won this comfortably, by exchanged players to make it competitive for all. Ellon U16 sit top of the league with two to play.
U15 played a tough game away to a much stronger Perthshire team then played at Ellon previously, swollen with Strathallan lads. Ellon started slow and steady, and slowly built the scoreboard up, despite not playing as they had in recent games. Half time was 0-22, but the second half was a different story as Perthshire came back strong. Too many subs at once and Ellon players taking the foot of the pedal. Perthshire scored 3 unanswered tries and starting getting excited for a big come back. Ellon scored twice, but Perthshire scored 2 more tries. Game ended 29-34 to Ellon, with plenty for Ellon to work on!
Two games left for Ellon U15 who sit second in the league, 1 point behind Gordonstoun.
At both U15 and U16, the power to win the league is in their hands. Win both games and they win their respective leagues!
Ellon U14s got straight into attack with the forwards using the pods and breaking towards the Perth try line. This resulted in Jamie Brooks scoring after two minutes, taking advantage of Perthshire not being prepared. This early score lifted the Ellon boys spirits and they thought they were in for a chance today and for a moment the opposition knew they had a game on their hands.
The Perthshire pack were strong and countered and opened their scoring in the 6th minute to level one try each. The following 10 minutes was a tough battle with no real advantage to either team however Perthshire started to win most of the rucks and scrums which was a setback for Ellon, however the lads kept up the pressure in the middle of the park and it was a fairly even game up until the 15th minute when Perth took advantage of their backs excellent passing, running in three tries in the 15th, 18th and 20th minutes. The first period ended Perth 13 v Ellon 3.
Second period opened with Ellon making a strong attack into the Perth half constant attacking and defending. Fin Ritchie managed to break through two tackles and was heading for a score when the Perth full back made a try saving tackle to deny Ellon a try. Both teams fought hard with great effort and Felix Middleton, Sam Douglas, Ryan Hanton and Ryan Dickie making loads of tackles right up until the 10th minute when once again the Perthshire backs ran round the Ellon wing to score. Ellon winger Ross Davidson made every tackle however Perthshire always seemed to have that extra man.
Unfortunately Ellon then lost their way a bit and lost their shape and just could not really defend well which resulted in Perthshire running in four more tries in the 12th 14th 18th and 20th minutes as their backs chip kicked the ball over the Ellon backs and collected lucky bounces to score their tries. The game ended Perth 35 v Ellon 3.
At U13 both Perthshire and Ellon battled hard against each other, but Perthshire had a stronger back line who worked well in moving the ball. Something Ellon have fallen back on in recent games. All games end in a draw at this age, as they are just for development.
Points from these games boosted Ellon to top of the Lancer Conference, three points clear of Gordonstoun in second and 6 over Mackie in third. Two to play!
The Junior Section all headed down to Edinburgh to play in the Stewart Melville Festival, against Edinburgh teams they don’t often play. P4, P5, P6 and P7 all played great rugby and showed what the best of the NE has to offer. P6 and P4 all won 3 out of 4 games. At P6, after a good bus journey, faced first up was the hosts Stew Mel Black. An athletic looking team who were very well drilled in all areas. From the kick off Ellon ran the ball up the middle and after being brought to ground, recycled and shipped to the wing!!!!
First score to Ellon. Stew Mel returned the score and with Ellon defending well in the tackle and ruck the game stood at 3-2 to Ellon. With the last play Stew Mel broke looking to draw the game but Ellon's dash to cover tackle prevailed with 2 players putting Stew Mel in to touch. Final Score and a great win, Ellon 3 - 2 Stew Mel!
Ellon P6 sat out the next games only to return playing Stew Mel Gold.
This Stew Mel team were bigger in stature and Ellon were constantly on the back foot.
Tackle upon tackle Stew Mels support play was superb and after a length of time Ellon could not hold out. 1-0 Stew Mel.
Ellon attacked well but could not thwart the Stew Mel flow who were also excellent over the ball with the "Jackal".
The Ellon squad dug in but another score from the Lions sealed the game.
Final score Ellon 0-2 Stew Mel Gold
Ellon P6 got together and could see what was needed to proceed against Currie and Portabello.
With great defence, pressure and attacking play, Ellon got back to the game they enjoy. With good offloading and continuity ,Currie could not keep up with Ellon's pace. A special mention to Ellon P6's "Dancing Bull", JP Friel who had a fantastic game weaving in and out of the Currie defence to score a magnificent try, with the sideline in great applause!!
Portabello again were a great test to P6 with good runners, but Ellon recycled well with their scrumhalf producing good ball going out wide, using the full pitch.
Final scores Ellon 9-3 Currie, Ellon 6-2 Portabello.
Ellon Girls were represented by Eva and Jenna Milne who played in the U14 event in Aberdeen Saturday. The Ellon twins played on opposite sides at scrum half! Great competition saw some great rugby at the younger ages.
This weekend sees a rest for the First XV and Youth section. The juniors have a home Festival on Sunday at the Meadows at 11:00 if the pitches survive the recent wet weather.
25/26 November sees home games for the Youth against Dundee Rugby, as the Lancer Conference gets to the business end of the league. While 2nd December sees the next First XV game and the final games in the Lancer Conference.
Updated 08:47 - 16 Jan 2018 by Matt Pearce