Deeside U16s got off to the best start possible in the U16 Champions League with a convincing 7-0 win against Stirling County RFC.
Only the top three teams in the Caledonia North Premier league qualified for the Champions League, and play off against the top three from the Midlands. Stirling County finished top of the Midlands league and up until yesterday were an unbeaten side.
The Deeside U16 squad was well focused and their professional attitude to the thorough pre-match preparation and warm up was taken straight into the game. Conditions were perfect for rugby at Woodend and the game was played at lightning pace throughout.
The powerhouse second row unit of Andrew Mulliins and Alex Taylor were instrumental in Deeside’s dominance at the scrum. At the lineouts Will Underwood and Angus McCance ensured quality possession, and in the loose, Elliot Wood was prominent with his driving play, which sucked in the Stirling defenders. Srum halfs Andrew Hardman and Connor McWilliam ensured that distribution from set plays and from the rucking play was accurate and fast and this gave Deeside’s backline every opportunity to attack.
With only twelve minutes played quick ruck ball and quick hands from fly half Struan Gordon put Patrick Nicol into space allowing him to draw two defenders. With the Stirling defensive line in disarray Nicol offloaded out of the tackle to full back Liam Hutcheon, whose electric pace and superb timing left the last ditch Stirling defence static. With the try converted, Deeside were definitely in control.
Stirling rallied but Desside’s defence was like a solid brick wall and despite some sustained pressure form Stirling in the Deeside 22, Deeside held out and worked the game slowly but surely back up field. Indeed, it was defence as much as attack that won this game for Deeside. The backline tackling from Struan Gordon, Patrick Nicol, James Long, Duncan Harle, Twai Mweemba, Rafe Welsh and Liam Hutcheon was solid throughout, and the speed with which they cut down any space available to Stirling stifled and snuffed out Stirling attempts to attack.
The second half was scoreless although Deeside had scoring opportunities with two missed penalties. The effort expended by Deeside was clearly evident in the final moments of the game as Stirling tried desperately to rally, but Deeside stuck firmly at the task and were well deserved winners.
Deeside: Liam Hutcheon, Tswai Mweemba, James Long, Patrick Nicol, Duncan Harle, Struan Gordon, Andrew Hardman, Dan Sutton, Roaul Sutcliffe, Tyler Booth, Andrew Mullins, Alex Taylor, Angus McCance, Will Underwood, Elliot Wood, Rafe Welsh, Adam Thomson, Matthew McFarlane, Connor McWilliam, Peter Lamont.