Ellon’s set-piece failed to function against Strathmore RFC in a game which the home side could have won, writes Jack Calvert.
Strathmore outscored their opponents by four tries to two, despite having a man sinned-binned early in the game.
Ellon put on a powerful display in the last 20 minutes, scoring two tries through fullback Greg Willets and number eight Liam Slaven with Kieron Dalgarno kicking one conversion. But it was definitely too little too late for the maroon and golds.
The result is a disappointing one for the home team especially as parts of their performance were good. Simple handling errors and missed tackles combined with being out-scrummaged resulted in a bonus point victory for Strathmore.
Ellon have now reached the midway point of the season and the reality of their campaign in Caley 1 is sinking in. They currently have three wins and six losses which is not disastrous but leaves a lot to be desired.
The team is in a state of restructuring with many new players coming into the fold. But Ellon will certainly be hoping for improvement in the second half of the season.
Aberdeenshire look to be unassailable at the top of the table. But the rest of the Caley 1 teams are still relatively close in points and a few more wins could see Ellon’s league position improve quickly.
Captain Liam Slaven said: “I have very mixed feelings about today. I’m disappointed that we lost and we struggled with the set piece but there were aspects of our game which were good.
“I think we’ve reached a turning point. We are now halfway through the season and we know where we stand.
“We’ve had some difficult games in which we haven’t played well, but we have shown glimpses of what we can do.
“If we played like we did in the last 20 minutes of today’s game we would be doing well. This is what we’ll be trying to achieve from now on.
“There are a good bunch of guys here and some really strong players but we haven’t yet played to our potential.
“If we play to our strengths we will win week in week out and this is what we intend to do in the second half of the season.”
Elsewhere, Aberdeenshire cvontinued their strong title push with a 65-3 drubbing of one of the leading contenders, St Andrews University, at Woodside.
Shire have now scored 436 points in just nine games.
Caithness made it seven in a row with a 30-3 victory at home to northern rivals Highland and coach Colin Sangster said later they were relishing the prospect of taking on Aberdeenshire in what he described as the form game of the season..
Gordonians put a lacklustre start behind them to thrash Orkney 61-10 at a snow-covered Countesswells. Ritchie Gray scored four touchdowns, while Patrick Gray niotched three for the Aberdeen side, now lying in third place.
Meanwhile, Hillfoots won 48-12 against Mackie Academy at Tillycoultry.