Narrow victory saves Ellon

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LLON put behind them a poor run of form to produce the best result of its stop/start season, giving the Meadows side the boost they need to carry into their misfiring league campaign.

A narrow win against Strathmore in the semi-final of the Caledonian Regional Shield may just be the tonic the team requires to shrug off the threat of potential relegation from Caledonian Division 1.

Ellon secured a nail-biting last gasp 21 - 20 win when, two minutes from time, the Inchmacoble side scored a late try to come within a single point of the home total, but with a conversion to come.

To the relief of Ryan Morrice ,the Ellon assistant coach the kick was missed, though not the final agony for his side, as the Forfar side still had time to line up a drop goal, which thankfully for the home side was also wide of the mark.

“I cannot fault my boys’ effort, it was outstanding,” he said afterwards.

“Strathmore threw everything at us, and we weathered it. They had three push - over tries, but our eight commandos never gave up. Watching from the side lines was pretty nerve - wracking, especially when Strathie were 12 - 3 up early in the game,” added a relieved Morrice.

Ellon clawed back a try just before half - time through stand off Alix McDonald and came out swinging in the second, racking up another touchdown from Liam Slaven to which scrum half Andrew Ovenstone added the conversion, adding two penalties as the home side took control.

Leading 21 - 15 going into the final quarter of the game, Ellon were forced to vigorously defend their hard earned lead, holding on until Strathmore claimed a late try, only to miss the opportunity of a place in the final after missing the vital conversion.

The Meadows side will now meet the winners of the other semi-final match due to be played on Saturday, when local rivals Aberdeenshire RFC will face St Andrews University at Woodside.

In the meantime Ellon will be back on league duty on Saturday with a home game against Gordonians, giving them the opportunity to extract themselves from the Caledonian relegation area, a situation acknowledged by Morrice as ‘dangerous.’

He said: “We need to get going on a run of wins. There has been a good presence at training so far in 2013.

“This win will give us the incentive to keep working hard.”

Ewan McIntyre was adjudged man of the match.