Garioch came within one kick of drawing their top-of-the-table clash with Deeside at Banchory in a highly-entertaining game which almost certainly ends the Inverurie club’s chances of winning the Caley 2 North title, writes Jack Nixon.
Going into the last minute of a nail-biting contest Garioch were trailing league leaders Deeside 13-6, but somehow found the inspiration, and energy to score a last-gasp try when full back Matt Barker dashed over the home line.
Unfortunately for the visitors the conversion attempt by Jamie Carr was just off target, leaving Garioch to contemplate what might have been.
The tragedy for Carr was that he had been an inspired stand off throughout the stirring contest, giving his side a 6--3 half-time lead through two well-struck penalties and generally leading by example.
Deeside tied up the scores early in the second period before centre Michael McGlugash touched down in 66 minutes for a try converted by winger Jamie Stephen who had also kicked two penalties earlier in the game for the home team.
Coach Rudi was disappointed by the outcome, but said: “We made a huge contribution to a great game of rugby. “We will build on this performance. I am very proud of our home grown team.
“There were some real heroes out there who put in some big hits in a marvellous display of defending. We probably deserved a draw.”
The defeat leaves the Kellands Park side 15 points adrift in second place, a position they are unlikely to improve on in the run-in, but they can take great satisfaction from a season which started poorly with two home defeats, but since September 19 until Saturday they had been unbeaten.
In the same division in the only other game played Ellon were crushed 74-0 at Hazlehead by a rampant Aberdeen Wanderers, and on Saturday’s form look like a team in free fall and firmly rooted at the foot of the division.