Deeside RFC U18 side were invited to play at the Festival of Rugby seven-a-side tournament at Murrayfield that ran alongside last month’s International Sevens event.
The event comprised of 24 teams, from all over Scotland. These were split into six pools with the winner of each group, and the 2 best runners up, progressing to the knock-out stage.
In the first match against Glaswegian side GHA, both sides found it difficult to settle down, with handling difficult after a rain shower.
It was GHA who mounted a series of attacks and were only held out by some strong Deeside tackling. Eventually, Will Tubby broke the deadlock with a dummied wide pass and then cut inside to score. Martin Judt followed this up with a long-range effort straight from the kick off. Robert Hessell completed the scoring with a fine solo try, which along with 2 conversions resulted in a 19-0 win to Deeside.
Deeside only had a short break before their next match against a very strong Selkirk side. Selkirk started the game strongly and were only prevented from scoring by some excellent cover tackling from Charlie Grimble and Calum Gordon. Eventually the Selkirk pressure paid off and they scored. Deeside responded and nearly equalised when Robert Hessell unfortunately was injured in a tackle and was to take no further part in the competition.
Later in match Tobias Cochrane-Dyet also took a knock whilst making a tackle, Selkirk took advantage of Deeside being down a man to score a second try to complete a 12-0 win.
In the last pool match, Deeside knew they had to win by a large margin to stand any chance of qualifying for the next round. Up against a strong Dunfermline side, this was always going to be a challenge. George Moody broke the deadlock when he scored a great support try after a break by Glen Taylor.
Deeside launched string of attacks through Nick Harper and Ian Fraser. Under this onslaught, the Dunfermline defence eventually started to open up which allowed Deeside’s Calum Gordon and Martin Judt to power over for two tries each. This avalanche of tries combined with Will Tubby’s accuracy with conversions resulted in a 33-0 win to Deeside.
Despite the great display of rugby, results from the other groups meant that Deeside failed to progress through to the knock-out stages.
The team’s disappointment at not progressing further was slightly lessened when Selkirk went on to easily win the event.
It was unfortunate that Deeside was drawn to play in such a strong group but the team put together a strong performance and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the international sides play.
Deeside team: Moody, Hessell, Grimble, Judt, Taylor, Fraser, Tubby, Gordon, Harper, Cochraine-Dyet, Hart, Pickering, Ferguson.