Deeside U18s welcomed Aberdeen Grammar to their new pitches at Woodend in a top of the table clash between the two sides in the Caledonia North East League with both teams holding 100% records.
The outcome was honours even with the result a 0-0 draw.
A scoreless match is something of a rarity and might be thought to signify a dull, error-strewn game.
However, this was far from such a contest and remained tense and exciting to the end but the defences came out on top.
Both teams were fully committed and made tremendous efforts to work together to snuff out each attack they faced.
A single mistake could have gifted the game to the other side, but time and again the covering tackle was made and in the end a draw was a fair result.
Each side had an opportunity to convert a penalty, with Sam Morris connecting well for Deeside in the first half from 35 metres out on an angle, only for the wind to take the ball to the right of the posts.
It was Grammar’s turn in the second half from a similar distance but straight on, but their kicker pushed the kick wide.
Deeside were depleted by absences and injuries in their backs and had no recognised half-backs available.
Consequently, Sam Morris and Tobias Cochrane-Dyet must be commended for stepping into the breach and playing out of position.
Both moved the ball along the backs line whenever they could, while being prepared to keep the defence honest with half-breaks.
Inevitably, the ball did not move as slickly as might have been hoped and although Calum Gordon in the centre always looked dangerous with powerful and elusive runs, there was never quite enough room to break free.
In defence, all of the Deeside backs worked for each other and with some excellent counter-attacking by Grammar wings and full-back, the Deeside backs did well to close them down.
This was probably the best defensive display for Deeside by wings John McGowan and Kyle Dawson.
Much of Deeside’s play was through the forwards, with Callum Ferguson and Angus Wallace leading charge after charge with two or three defenders required to bring them to ground.
In the back row, Chris Ballentyne was a bundle of energy, winning a number of contests to secure loose possession, while Tom Christie was powerful in the tackle and made several telling breaks and Malcolm Diack made good ground every time he picked up from the base of the scrum.
An opportunity to win the game arose near the end of the second half with a penalty out wide but close to the try line.
Two powerful drives got Deeside to within touching distance before being robbed of possession and the chance was gone.
With a little more depth and width to their play and better ball-retention in contact,
Deeside could have taken this game but should take much from a concerted effort for the whole game against very strong opposition.