Deeside delight as top referee Hollie pops in to open new equipment shed

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Deeside Rugby welcomed international referee and local girl Hollie Davidson to the club last Saturday for an official opening ceremony.

Hollie, who started her rugby career at Aboyne Academy and progressed to the Scotland international team before becoming a referee, was at Woodend to open the new equipment shed.

Hollie spent time talking to some of the mini and junior players who were training and took time to sign shirts before opening the equipment shed that has been built with the help of Apache North Sea as the main shed sponsor and other local businesses including Chap Construction and Midmar Timber,

Several club members helped in the build and fit-out stages, and it was all ably coordinated by Deeside head of facilities, and Apache employee, James Cochrane-Dyet.

Hollie, who moved to refereeing as injury curtailed her playing career, is now one of only four contracted female referees in the world, and she will be in charge of the France v Italy Women’s Six Nations game at the end of next month, her first game at that level.

Hollie was presented with an honorary membership of the club by club president Ian Finlayson.

“It was great coming down at the weekend, you’re doing amazing things with the club,” she said.

“To see so many young faces playing and enjoying rugby is wonderful.”

Coach Alexander Burnett added: “A huge thanks to Hollie for coming to training at Deeside Rugby and officially opening our new kit store – it is great for our junior girls and boys to see someone local reach international heights.”

Deeside U15s and U16s were in Caledonian Cup first-round action on Sunday, and recorded spectacular successes, the U15s winning 67-5 against Highland at Woodend, while the U16s made the long journey to Thurso and beat Caithness 51-7.

Unfortunately, it was the other side of the coin for the Deeside 1st XV, who went down heavily at Moray in Cale-donia Division 2 North on Saturday.

Commenting on his side’s 64-5 defeat, head coach Bruce Strachan said: “The side that went up to Elgin on Saturday was full of enthusiasm and positive attitude but you need more than that to take on a big and seasoned Moray team.

“We had too many players unavailable and too many playing out of position to have a realistic chance of competing with Moray as we did at the start of the season.

“There are a number of players who need to have a good look at themselves as the excuses are becoming lame and boring to listen to, we need determined players to step forward.

“Players who will not let their team, club or community down – now is the time to step forward to be counted.

“Highland are coming to Banchory this Saturday and that is going to be a big challenge for the whole team.

“Highland are an ambitious club who are leading the way in north and north-east Scottish rugby; it is a club we could all learn from.”