U18s stun league leaders Highland

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Deeside U18s welcomed league leaders Highland to Woodend and sent them homewards tae think again, with Deeside running out 19-10 winners.

With a strong wind in their faces, Deeside kept the ball in hand and took play well into the Highland half where the opposition was caught offside. Flanker Jack Duncan quickly tapped the penalty and burst through the defence before offloading to hooker Angus Hart, whose supporting run took him under the posts for the try. Malcolm Diack added the conversion.

Midway through the half, Highland pulled back a try from close range but missed the conversion. There were no further scores in the first half, which meant that Deeside had prevented Highland from taking any advantage from the wind. Time and again, Deeside tacklers brought down Highland attackers, with Glen Taylor and Ollie Pickering particularly effective. When Highland did get close, the Deeside front row of Melvin McAskill, Angus Hart and Angus Wallace were solid in the scrum and full back Nick Harper took every opportunity to counter attack. Even when Deeside lost captain Angus Hart to a dubious yellow card shortly before half time, the defence stood strong.

Much of Deeside’s success came from the use of pods of forwards taking short passes and driving into the heart of the defence where the ball was recycled for the next pod of forwards to take it on. This tactic was concerning the defence so much than when fly half Glen Taylor ignored a waiting pair of forwards and passed wide to centre Harvey Macaulay and his arcing run took him to the try line to score in the corner. When Deeside did turn to the forwards flanker Tom Christie was outstanding, winning line-outs, kicking long touch-finding penalties and spinning out of tackles and into space. However, it was full back Nick Harper who broke through to sprint clear and claim the third try, converted by Malcolm Diack. Near the end, Highland came back with a try of their own but by then the game was won.