Ellon First XV slipped up in the race for the League title and promotion last weekend against Mackie at home. Mackie came to make amends for their loss at home to Ellon at the start of the season. Playing physical rugby, Ellon defence was outstanding to hold Mackie at bay. However a couple of mistakes let them in. The game was close for the whole 80 minutes, but at the end it was 5-13, with Ellon scoring late on. The missed conversion meant no losing bonus point either, however Ellon should have scored tries earlier on to win the game.
This makes things very tight at the top. Garioch game was called off, so Ellon remain top, but Garioch have games in hand. Could all come down to points difference this season, as Ellon await to hear if they play this weekend due to Aberdeen Uni Medics being unable to play a number of games this year. If not the last game of the season, and must win with 4 tries, is Ross Sutherland on 19th May.
Sunday Saw Ellon U15 and U16 head to sunny St Andrews for the Plate Finals of the Caledonia Cup. Ellon U15 played Stirling County, while U16 took on Dunfermline.
U15 started the day off and it was a tough game with some very tight refereeing, something the Ellon boys will need to learn to work with.
Ellon received the ball from kick off, and controlled the ball well, releasing Fin Ritchie, however, he took a bump early on and had to be subbed for Josh Andrew on 5 minutes. Stirling moved up the park and got a penalty close to the posts, slotted for 0-3.
Ellon worked back up the pitch and released Reese Melling to run and break 2 tackles, offloading and quick hands saw Euan Bonner score, converted by Ben Dickie for 7 -3 lead. Ellon then attacked from the restart and close to scoring, but knocked on close to the line. Ellon were prevented from scrummaging more than 0.5m (should be 1.5 m) which was a shame as they dominated this area. Stirling broke away from their half, scoring a converted try. In the next restart, Stirling turned over at the breakdown and then placed a fantastic kick over the top to some space, running on to score an unconverted try. At this point it was 7-15. On 23 minutes, Dylan Kemp continued his domination at the line out stealing the Stirling ball. This went through two passes, but again Stirling stole the ball at the breakdown and attacked. Stirling however knocked on. Ben Dickie broke from the scrum, and ran 30 meters to clear. In the next phase, Kia Taylor was doing well up to this point but he took a whip lash injury and had to be subbed off. Mat Lusher came on just before half time.
Second half Ellon began really well, trying to dominate the game, but not allowed to due to the penalty count. Josh Andrew now took a knee knock and had to come off. Ellon had run out of backs and now put Tom Gray on and moved second row Lewis Duncan to the backs. In the phases that led, Ellon went very quickly every time and Ben Dickie put Archie Falconer in to score using his great strength in the leg drive. 12 - 15 to Stirling with 15 minutes left. Ellon had possession but just were not allowed to play. Multiple penalties against them gave the ball back to Stirling every time, Stirling eventually made the most and scored a converted try. With Ellon pushing hard at the end, Stirling closed the game out and won the game 12-22.
Well done to Stirling County and well done to Ellon to keeping going in a tough game. Ellon U15 head to Edinburgh next weekend for Boroughmuir 10s tournament.
U16 played straight away after against Dunfermline. Dunfermline are a top team at U16, winning all their games in their conference. This showed with their strong running and scoring. Ellon worked hard trying to keep up, but the game stretched away from them in the first half. In the second half Ellon scored a couple of early tries to give them hope, but Dunfermline moved up another gear and finished the game strongly. Final score 45 – 17. As exam period starts, the boys games finish, but they have a final U16 swan song on 12th May at Moray for some 7s.
For the Juniors it was the Mackie Tournament Saturday. Travelling at P3-7 Ellon played very well in the Tag festival at P3 and then in the full contact tournament they won at P4 and P6! P5 and P7 played very well. Next weekend is Aberdeen Grammar Tournament.
Updated 02:13 - 2 May 2018 by Gareth D Kemp