Ellon Youth Section were in full force last weekend.
U13 and U14 both played Highland (from Inverness) as home games. But with a busy Meadows and the need to preserve pitches, Ellon moved the home games to Peterhead and played at Catto Park.
The Ellon U13 boys started the first period strongly and took the game to Highland, applying pressure in the rucks and scrums and advancing slowly towards the Highland try line, however the Highland pack defended well and the Ellon boys could not capitalise on their possession and made a number of handling errors and knock on's which resulted in Highland gaining possession. The first and second periods ended 0 v 0 with all to play for in the last 15 minute period.
Once again some frustrating handling errors gifted Highland the ball and they scored the first try of the match after 39 minutes of game time. Ellon did not give up and took the game back to Highland. Ellon gained possession and passed the ball along the backs who made a gallant break up the pitch. Liam Ritchie was then tackled and was felled 1 metre short of scoring, most unlucky. This would have seen the match drawn at 1 try each however it was not to be.
Highland then counter attacked hard in the last few minutes of the game and broke through the Ellon defence to run in an easy try between the posts in the last minute of the game. Final score Ellon 0 v 8 Highland.
Plenty to learn from and line speed to work on for the next game.
U14 was the game of the weekend! Unbeaten at this age band against Highland twice a year since Primary Rugby, Ellon had high hopes but weren’t complacent as they knew Highland were much improved. In good weather but a slightly heavy pitch after the overnight rain, Ellon were clearly up for the game. 1 minute into the game the Ellon Scrum stole the ball against the head and Ben Dickie sniped from 9 to score, with Adam Fowlie getting the conversion. This was the start of a great afternoon for these two prolific Ellon backs.
After the kick off, Ellon stole a lineout from Highland and spun the ball to the other wing for Arran Whitaker to score. The backs then combined for Adam Fowlie to score.
The second third Ellon continued the attack, combining forwards and back in great offloading and support. Forwards doing their job of rucking and the backs clearing the ball. Ben Dickie controlled the game from scrum half, while the Scrum back row dominated the tackle and break downs. Arran Whitaker missed a try after a 60m break and was tackled just short, but high. Ben Dickie then took a quick penalty and scored the try and conversion. Next came the best move of the game. Ben ran off the scrum at 9, taking a wide route, with a reverse pass to Dylan Kemp breaking from the flanker position. Dylan ran 30 meters and offloaded in the tackle to Lewis to score out wide. Dylan then got his try, breaking through the first tackle with the help of a drive by Finlay Hagen, he was then double tackled by Highland. Staying on his feet and using a strong leg drive he then broke this tackle and went under the posts, making the conversion easy for Ben. Almost the full team then combined in passing and offloading for Adam to take the final score and Ben converting. Ben also score another try to finish the third.
The final third and Ellon did not sit back at all. Determined to continue scoring and working hard, Ellon scored 27 points this third. Tries to Lewis Duncan, now in the centre of the backs, Adam Fowlie who gave great pressure in defence, ripped the ball and scored; Euan Bonner on his first game back after 2 months off; Finlay Hagen ripped the ball from a Highland player passed to Dylan Kemp, who passed on to Adam Fowlie to score after beating two men and running 50m.
Final score was 56 – 4 to Ellon (3 points for a try and 1 for a conversion). 5 Tries and 8 conversions to Ben Dickie, 5 tries and 3 conversions to Adam, 2 tries to Lewis Duncan, and 1 try to Dylan Kemp, Arran Whitaker and Euan Bonner.
Logan Vavangas and Ross Stewart both missed tries as the referee was playing advantage. A full all round performance by the young team. Especially in the scrum where they won all scrums in the first two thirds, more than half against the head.
A 4 week break now and then Ellon face Highland in Inverness.
The U15 and U16 both played in the first round of the Caledonia Cup. Both games at home in the Cup, Ellon came up against the best teams in the region in Granite City and Mackie respectively.
Unfortunately both lost, in similar fashion, as they allowed the opposition to take the first half before stepping up in the second. U15 lost 19 – 64 and U16 14 – 56. Both now move to the Shield, where U15 play at home to Perthshire on 5th March and U16 go to Orkney later in the month. U15 have already beaten Perthshire twice this season and Orkney are unknown entity at U16. Both Ellon teams would be confident going into the games.
Ellon Girls joined with Huntly, Wanderers and Mackie to create Grampian Girls. They played last weekend against Caithness ay U18, winning and progressing in the National Cup. The U15 beat Howe of Fife and lost to Caithness.
This weekend Ellon Youth take on Gordonstoun at home as a friendly, while the Juniors travel to Robert Gordons in Aberdeen.
Updated 01:39 - 23 Feb 2017 by Gareth D Kemp