Ellon Rugby managed a few games this weekend with the weather improving. Saturday saw early kick offs due to the Ireland V Scotland International game.
The First XV kicked off at 12:15 against Highland Seconds, who are on a great run in the League. Ellon keeping faith with a very young squad, started well scoring first and taking a 7 - 0 lead, before allowing Highland back into the game all too quickly. From this score Highland began to dominate the breakdown area, using strong tackles and quick players onto the ball. Ellon couldn't break this cycle and it led to Highland having more possession. This led to another two scores that half.
Second half Highland continued to dominate the breakdown and scored again out wide., eventually taking a 7- 34 lead. The last 15 minutes the young Ellon team started to come back, with fitter faster players, they managed to score two more converted tries, but couldn't get enough to get a bonus point. Final score was 21 - 34 to Highland.
Ellon are still top of the league, but they have lost their big buffer with Highland who are on the same points (although they have played two more games and are 260 scoring points difference). What is more influential for Ellon is Garioch and Moray who have played the same number of games as Ellon, and are 2 and 4 points behind respectively). Ellon do however have Moray at home later in the season, and have 5 home games and 3 away to play.
Up next is Deeside at the Meadows 15:00 on the 24th March.
At the same time Ellon U15 played a friendly against a Shetland U15/16 team. Shetland travelled down on the ferry and came to the Meadows for the first time in a few years. Ellon played a development squad made up of U14 and U15, with a number of players away at the International rugby, and a few being rested. Ellon scored first on 1 minute through Archie Falconer who has moved from centre to flanker in recent times. This was followed up 4 minutes later by a great try by Kai Taylor. Shetland were a very physical team and used their strength to score via the big number 8. However Archie followed that up with a quick score to make it 19-7. The game went into a midfield battle with both teams making big tackles and a very physical period of the game. It was 20 minutes until another score, and Reese Melling went over to score a great solo try, breaking two tackles and going over.
In the second half Ellon stepped up the dominance, but under a huge physical presence. They went on to score 7 more tries to Shetland none, taking advantage of Shetland tiring due to lack of game time. Final score was 63 - 7 to Ellon, with Ellon scoring 11 tires and 4 conversions.
Man of the match went to Reese Melling, with a special mention to Kai Taylor for a great back performance.
Sunday Ellon U16 travelled to Inverness to play Highland in the Caledonia Cup Semi final. Winner goes to the Cup final and loser to the Plate final. Playing on the new 4G pitch, Highland took early control of the game, but Ellon kept in touch. All the way to the last 20 minutes Ellon had a chance, but as they tired, Highland scored three converted late tries. Final score was 51-14. Ellon U16 progress to the Plate Final against a team still to be decided due to snowed off games. Either Stirling, Granite City or Dunfermline.
Next weekend Ellon Firsts have a rest weekend, U16, U15, U14, U13, P7, P6 all travel to Robert Gordons for games against the Independent school. U18 will have their Caledonia Shield game against Morrisons Academy. The Girls will join Grampian Girls for some games out at Deeside.
Updated 22:35 - 11 Mar 2018 by Gareth D Kemp