Ellon’s hopes of avoiding relegation look suddenly brighter after they jumped two places in the Caley 1 league table and closed in on their mid-table rivals by beating St Andrews University.
The Meadows men travelled to Fife on Saturday to take a 26-3 bonus point win with a brace from Walker Lynch, tries from Liam Slaven and Nicki Fraser and three Jake Wills conversions.
The victory will come as a relief to Phil Edwards and Ryan Morrice who took over coaching duties after the departure of Duaine Lindsay.
Morrice said: “We didn’t play that well in the first-half. It took us 35 minutes to put something together and the first time we did we scored.
“That slowed them down and the power of our forwards took over.”
Morrice praised the abrasiveness and direct running of his pack, including hooker Ali Edwards.
He said: “St. Andrews were good at the break down, but the running of Nicki, Ali and Liam wore them down.
“It was very direct, but that is how you have to play against a team like that.”
After languishing at the bottom of the table for most of the season, Ellon now sit in eighth place with 27 points, ahead of Mackie (25 points) who have a game in hand, and St Andrews (18 points) who were recently given a three-point reduction for not fulfilling a fixture against Strathmore.
Morgan and Strathmore are only one point ahead of Ellon, but the latter have two games in hand.
Ellon’s remaining games are away to Morgan on March 1, and at home to Strathmore on March 22, setting the scene for an end of season battle to avoid the relegation play-offs.
Morrice said: “We don’t want to go through that again. We want to get our season over and done with.”
The play-offs involve the bottom two Caley 1 teams and the second placed in Caley 2 North and Caley 2 Midlands. Two places in Caley 1 are on offer.