After two narrow defeats on the road against Highland and Deeside, Ellon were looking to get back to winning ways with their first home game of the season against Gordonstoun. On a blustery day at the Meadows Ellon started the match slowly and had to withstand a lot of early pressure.
However, the home side did get the first score of the game after 13 minutes when a break from No. 8 Matthew Emmison set up a ruck deep inside the Gordonstoun 22. Great hands from Jamie Gillan then created space for full back Josh Walker to score in the corner.
The lead lasted barely a minute as poor ball control from the restart saw Gordonstoun reclaim the ball and get it to their well organised backs who passed it along the line at pace to score in the corner. The try was converted to put the away side in the lead with twenty minutes played. The lead was stretched further when more good play from the backs created a break in midfield and a score just to the right of the posts. Further tries were prevented by good last ditch tackling, but on the stroke of half-time Gordonstoun created a three to one overlap on the left wing to score in the corner and go in at half time 19-5.
Strong words must have been spoken at half time by the Ellon coaches as the team started the second half on the front foot. A break off the scrum from Man of the Match Matthew Emmison and a well timed pass to full back Josh Walker led to a converted score.
Disaster struck five minutes later when a bungled lineout inside the Ellon 22 was hacked through by one of the Gordonstoun flankers for an easy score. Gordonstoun’s lead was now 24-12. The game was turned on its head in the space of seven minutes around the hour mark when two converted Jamie Gillan tries gave Ellon a 26-24 lead.
The lead didn’t last, as the Gordonstoun forwards drove over in the corner. The try was converted to give Gordonstoun a 31-26 lead with two minutes to go.
Ellon claimed the restart through Liam Cousins and good work from the pack saw prop Matthew Royce then second row Connor Silver drive for the line. A great offload to Stewart Cruickshank saw the stand off dive over to bring the scores level. Scrum half Ben Shirron held his nerve to kick the conversion and the referee blew his final whistle giving Ellon a victory by 33 points to 31.
Coach Gareth Kemp said: “This team has a never say die mentality, For the third game in a row we started slow, and once again fitness and determination won through.”
The win keeps Ellon in touch with the leaders. The next match is against Grammar at Rubislaw on Saturday October 6.