U18s lose to Kirkaldy despite good effort

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Ellon were beaten in the last game of the season away in a freezing Fife.

Ellon travelled to Kirkcaldy to play the last game of the season on a nasty cold day that saw all training at the Meadows and the Junior Tournament cancelled.

On arrival Ellon were left locked out as the Kirkcaldy coaches were all late. After a shorter than normal warm up, the game started in a 30mph wind blowing in from the North Sea. Within the first 7 minutes there were a number of penalties as it was clear the referee was going to be tight at our break down. A penalty led to two missed tackles, and a poor kick was returned by Kirkcaldy to score the first unconverted try. This was followed up 4 minutes later with a kicked penalty for hands in the ruck, making it 8 0 to Kirkcaldy.

As the game continued, there was a number of off-the ball instances missed by the referee which frustrated players and staff alike.

A good clearance kick led to a line out in the Kirkcaldy 22, which Ellon won and drove forward with the pack to the line. From the next ruck Ellis Swainston drove over very low to score. Straight from the next kick off Ellon swarmed back to the same area where an advantage was played from firstly offside and then for collapsing a maul. From the collapsed maul Ben Shirron scored his trademark try (which has made him top points scorer this season) by picking and diving low.

In a quick scoring match Kirkcaldy drove up the pitch and scored a try on the wing with the forwards, in the process Nathan Brown took a nasty knock to the head and was swapped with Bradley Fraser and a scrum reshuffle.

Against the pressure, Kirkcaldy then scored a penalty (given for an unknown reason) giving a half time of 16–10.

The second half started as the first did, with Kirkcaldy playing the referee well and preventing Ellon from playing their flowing game. The weather got worse and the wind increased, slowing Ellon’s aiding to Kirkcaldy.

10 minutes into the second half Kirkcaldy scored two dubious tries, the first a line out 6 meters out that was taken short and run in. The second was a ruck won on the 22 and stolen by hands in the ruck by Kirkcaldy.

Ellon responded with a hard drive up the middle of the park, into a biting wind and then spinning the ball wide with great hands for the winger Ben Trowse to score.

With pressure mounting by good kicking, Kirkcaldy scored a third second half try by tackling the kicker as he cleared and recovering the ball quicker than Ellon.

As the Ellon players heads went down due to continuous referee decisions against them, they missed a few tackles and Kirkcaldy scored three more tries. During this time the referee had to speak to both frustrated sets of coaches. This spilled over when a Kirkcaldy player lifted an Ellon boy, carried him 10m off the pitch and dumped him. When he wasn’t even spoken to, a scuffle broke out, which marred the last game of the season.

This seemed to put some fire into Ellon and they raised themselves for a great last 10 mins, with a try by Bradley Fraser and conversion by Nathan Emery.

Although the final score was 44-22 Ellon boys lifted themselves on the journey home, by reviewing the season, with 2nd in the Caledonia League, a great National Cup/Bowl run, and some great performances in the Caledonia Champions League.

Coach Gareth said: “All players in the small squad that we have should be very proud of themselves”. It was a hard season and some great performances, there are too many to mention individually, but well done to all the boys. I hope to see them all back for preseason training, be it in the U18 or the seniors. All that is left now is to support the seniors in their relegation battle.”