What a weekend of rugby at Ellon with multiple teams in action. Saturday saw the First XV take on Deeside in the league at the meadows. Ellon played the best they have all season. On a sunny chilly afternoon, the pitch was just drying out and Ellon looked ready in the warm up and pumped up for a big game. It didn’t take long as within 9 minutes Ellon were 19 0 up with early tries to S Cruickshank and two to J Halmshaw, with two conversions to A Addy. Ellon just went forward from here, with the young team dominating the game. Angus Duncan couldn’t make the trip with the U18 but played for the firsts and had a fantastic game. First half there were more tries to S Cruickshank, D Sharp, J Campbell for a half time lead of 36 0. Defence was excellent for Ellon as the came up fast and put so much pressure on Deeside they couldn’t play. Elis Swainstone started the second half scores, by breaking away and beating three to score under the posts. Discipline slipped and Deeside slotted a penalty getting on the scoreboard. J Campbell scored two in a row using his strength to drive over in the midfield. Deeside were still trying to play good rugby, which is great to see. They certainly are going about things the right way as they rebuild their team. They managed a score from a chip over the top before J Campbell scored his fourth. B Shirron took his chance well snipping to score, before Deeside got a final consolation try, and A Addy scoring wide. Final score was 74-15 and Ellon take the full points and bonus.
Mackie, Moray and Garioch all won with bonus points, making the table close. Ellon are top over Garioch by 2 points and then Moray and Mackie 4 points below Ellon. All played the same. With it now confirmed that only one team will go up to Caley 1, Ellon have 7 games left (4 at home including Mackie and Moray) to claim promotion. It will certainly be a great battle of an end of season.
Meanwhile up in Orkney, Ellon U18 had traveled up Friday to play Saturday in the Shield semi finals against Caithness and Orkney. In a make or break game, Ellon lost 10-3 to Orkney and were knocked out of the Caley Shield. That effectively was the end of the season for Ellon U18, with only the possibility of a friendly to come.
Sunday saw U16 head to St Andrews with a development team named with a number of U15 in it to play Madras & St Lennards. In a great close game, Ellon dominated spells, but were frustrated by decisions that went against them, including three disallowed tries. End of the game saw Madras come away 21-19 winners.
Over in Banchory 5 Ellon U15 girls played in the Grampian Girls team that beat Biggar in the National cup 47-22! Moving to the next round.
The Sunday main event was the home Ellon Junior Tournament! Almost 400 children from all over the NE came to the Meadows for a fantastic tournament in the sunshine. Playing tag rugby on the AstroTurf the P3s had a great number of games as a festival. The P4-P7 all played on the grass, taking over both football pitches and both rugby pitches. Rugby from 10:30 to 13:00 saw some brilliant games, no doubt all the boys and girls developed their skills. This time of year the older children play tournaments with winners, rather than festivals. The final results were:
P4 winners Ellon, runner up Deeside
P5 winners Mackie, runner up Garioch.
P6 winners Ellon, runner up Mackie
P7 winners Grammar, runner up Garioch.
P7 was the closest event with nearly all the teams playing their last game and a possibility of making the final.
This weekend Ellon First XV take on Aberdeen Grammar seconds at the meadows as they look to maintain their top spot. 15:00 kick off.
P6 and P7 are heading to Howe of Fife for a friendly.
U15 are preparing for their plate final against Stirling on the 29th April, U16 preparing for their plate final also, but unsure of the opposition yet as Granite city and Dunfermline still have a semi final to play.
Updated 00:16 - 29 Mar 2018 by Gareth D Kemp
The U13/14/15 are all practising 7s as well for their home tournaments on 21 and 22nd April.