Relegation setback for Ellon - without a ball being kicked

The Meadows was unplayable for Saturday's visit of Lochaber.
The Meadows was unplayable for Saturday's visit of Lochaber.

Ellon Rugby’s hopes of avoiding relegation from Caley 2 North were dealt a devastating blow without even kicking a ball at the weekend.

The SRU confirmed that the five points the Meadows club had won against Kinloss Eagles were to be deducted after the army team withdrew from the league last week.

We now have four games in which to save our season

Gareth Kemp Ellon Director of Rugby

To make matters worse, Ellon’s vital bottom-of-the-league clash with Lochaber was called off due to the Meadows being unplayable.

The club’s director of rugby Gareth Kemp said: “It was a double blow for us, especially as the game with Lochaber was one we had targeted as one to win.

“The deduction of points is harder to take, as it was a game we won well in the earlier part of the season. Unfortunately our fellow strugglers in the league failed to beat the Eagles, and as a consequence we are now bottom of Caley 2 North.”

The slump to the relegation slot is tough on the Meadows club, particularly after neither of the two clubs immediately above them, Shetland and Stornoway, managed to pick up even a losing bonus point at the weekend, 
while Ellon by virtue of the 
deduction dropped three 
places.

Kemp added “The other annoying aspect of the postponed game was the fact we had just come off the back of a solid 29-15 win against Moray, and had a near full-strength team for the visit of Lochaber.

“We now have four games in which to save our season, starting with a tough one at Inverurie on Saturday where Garioch are on a roll in second place.

“We then have Shetland and Deeside at home, but have yet to be told when the Lochaber game is due to be played. At least we are spared a trip to Kinloss on what was to have been our last game in the season.”

There were implications at the top of the division where leaders Deeside were the beneficiaries, as a result of surprisingly losing to Kinloss Eagles, and therefore not subject to a deduction, whereas Garioch suffered a loss of points which leaves the Kellands Park side five points behind the Banchory side, and having played a game more than the leaders.

A situation which has almost certainly cost Garioch any realistic chance of winning the league.