ELLON Rugby Club were all set to travel to Inverness on Saturday when a call from the Highlands resulted in the Meadows club having yet another blank weekend without a game.
“We were five minutes from leaving when Highland Rugby Club rang just before the bus left to say the pitch at Canal Park was unplayable. Our first reaction was not to believe them, but other sources confirmed that in fact there had been a heavy frost overnight, added to which freezing fog had rolled in,” said interim head coach Michael Cox.
The quick thinking Cox decided it would be useful to have an extra training session, though he was aware his relegation haunted side were more in need of game time.
“We have a big game coming up against Caithness who are currently lying second in Caley 1. We then have a home semi-final game in the Regional Shield against Strathmore. These are two games which could shape our season,” said the former Boroughmuir player who admitted the task of bringing back national rugby to the town was proving hard.
“This is a young squad who desperately want to see the glory days return to the club. It’s vital we do not get relegated. My job is to see we don’t go down,” he added.
The salvation for the 35 year old club could yet lie in its excellent youth section, vigoursly led by Gareth Kemp. The enthusiastic Kemp is, however, wary of rushing his talented under 18’s into the first team.
“Of course we want the club to avoid relegation, but it would be folly to expose our young talented players to the hurly burly of the top Caledonian league, but we will be working together to ensure top class rugby returns to one of the most successful setups in Scottish rugby,” said Kemp.
Should Ellon be relegated it would prove to be very difficult to make a return, unless of course young players who normally come to the club continue to travel out from Aberdeen. In particular, the student population has been a good recruiting ground for the club.
“I just hope that whatever happens at the end of the season, that forward thinking players will still come to one of the most ambitious clubs in North - east,” said Cox.