Deeside U16s were unlucky not to take the points when they took on Ellon at the Meadows in their top of the table U16 league clash.
Deeside made all the early play, but were penalised for going off their feet at the ruck with Ellon’s first counter attack and Ellon number ten Bradley Fraser slotted the points. Penalties summed up the half for Deeside who never quite managed to get their game flowing due to penalty after penalty for technical offences at the breakdown.
Despite the disjointed feel this gave to the game Deeside were unlucky not to score on two occasions, crossing the Ellon try line twice with forwards combining well with backs on both occasions. Deeside’s forwards were dominant at the scrum with Tyler Booth slotting well into the role of hooker and Dan Sutton and Callum Lumsden having the best of the front row battle. While at the lineout Angus McCance was solid, and also disrupted much of Ellon’s ball. With only five minutes of the half left, Ellon full back Christian Avis eventually broke through the Deeside defence to score, despite good covering by Duncan Harle the try was duly converted.
Deeside looked even more determined in the second half and they began to string together longer passages of play. Alex Taylor and Andrew Mullins led the driving play, and Elliot Wood, Matthew Gordon and Daniel Graham worked well at the rucks. Deeside were making most of the play, and Andrew Hardman, and Raoul Sutcliffe worked well in both attack and defence, but with twenty minutes of the second half played the Ellon full back made another break down the right wing and Deeside now trailed 15-0. Undeterred, the Deeside forwards picked up the pace. Ellon began to concede penalties and some good kicking from Struan Gordon moved play once again deep into Ellon’s half. It only took Deeside five minutes to reply, when a series of forward drives from ruck play led by Dan Sutton was finished by Andrew Mullins for Deeside’s first points, converted by scrum half Matthew Hillier. As if revitalised, Deeside started to attack again, and the back line of Liam Hutcheon, Raoul Sutcliffe, and Rafe Weslh seemed to finding more gaps in Ellon’s defence. The harassing eventually paid off when winger James Long read the pass under pressure from Ellon’s centre and intercepted to score beneath the posts. The conversion was added and the final whistle signalled a 15-14 win for Ellon.
If Deeside had not been penalised as much in the first half and had turned their two best opportunities of that half into points, they could easily have won this game, but all credit to Ellon who held out.
Deeside: Liam Hutcheon, James Long, Roaul Sutcliffe, Duncan Harle, Rafe Welsh, Struan Gordon, Matthew Hillier, Tyler Booth, Callum Lumsden, Dan Sutton, Andrew Mullins, Alex Taylor, Elliot Wood, Matthew Gordon, Angus McCance, Andrew Hardman, Daniel Graham.