A second half comeback fell short for Ellon Rugby on Saturday as the team continued their slide towards likely relegation, writes Jack Calvert.
The Meadows men lost 43-17 at home to Hillfoots, their ninth defeat in a row, despite scoring a try just before half-time through captain and number eight Kieron Dalgarno, and then two more through scrum-half Sam Mountain and fly-half Phil Edwards after the break, with Edwards converting his own effort.
Ellon, who sit at the foot of the Caledonia 1 table with just two points, have only won one game this season and were deducted three points for failing to fulfil their following fixture.
For the Hillfoots match, the coaches once again struggled to raise a full team and had to rely on nearby clubs to fill in the gaps.
Forwards coach Ryan Morrice said: “We had a lot of changes again, so it took them that first quarter to get going. We had three players from Dyce. Tom Drew is still injured and Ellis Swainston had to work. The rest just say they are unavailable but don’t tell us why.
“Also coming in were Sam Mountain at nine, Jimmy Young at 12, Jamie Gillan at 13 and Ryan Bowron on the wing. Sam did well and he’s been what we’ve missed with Ben Shirron not being available. He kept the young pack of forwards going. Ryan Bowron did well in his first game back. He’s been away with work.
“Hillfoots were solid up front. They had an older pack that were more streetwise than us at the breakdown.
“We were really poor in the first 20 minute and they scored most of their points then. We competed well after that and in the second half we played some good rugby.”
Ellon’s next fixture is at home to Mackie Academy FP, and Morrice hopes the side can build on some of the positives they showed against Hillfoots.
He said: “We just need to focus on Mackie. There wasn’t much between us in the reverse fixture so we need to carry on from the way we played in the second half on Saturday.”