The sun was shining as the Deeside squad travelled to Kellands Park, Inverurie on Sunday to play a friendly game against Garioch. With only 16 players available and mainly forwards missing, a number of the Deeside squad found themselves playing in unfamiliar positions against a heavier Garioch line up.
The first 30-minute match got off to a lively start with John Crilly making an excellent run through the centre before being stopped close to the Garioch try line. A quick recovery by the home team and some swift passing saw them make their way down the field only to be thwarted by an excellent tackle by Andrew Mullins. However, Garioch again recovered and this time managed to make it to the try line and score. Undeterred by the first score of the game, Deeside immediately took to the attack and moved down field. John Crilly, playing in centre, dodged past a number of tacklers with Struan Gordon and Harry Lenton in support. Following a couple of quickly taken penalties, Deeside continued the attack with John finally scoring his first try of the game.
The home team wasted no time and quickly attacked with some excellent passing out to the wing where their pace was too much for Deeside, scoring in the corner and successfully converting the long kick. Again the visitors responded with an excellent run by Cameron Wood after they won ruck ball in the middle of the field. With impromptu substitute Tom Christie now on the field to replace an injured Will Underwood, his influence on the team quickly became apparent and soon he had the ball in his hands as he crossed the try line. Garioch again attacked down the wing and scored. Deeside didn’t rest and as soon as they had the ball John Crilly again made an excellent break through the middle of the home defence to score under the posts. Jack Christie stepped up to take the successful conversion, his first in a competitive game. The game continued with Tom Christie making an excellent run with the pack in support and after a quick ruck Deeside recycled the ball and again John Crilly made it across the line. This end-to-end first half finished with a score of 22 to 21 in Deeside’s favour.
After a brief break, some encouraging words from coach Alex Back and a much-needed drink, the team were back on the field for the second 30-minute half. Another thrilling encounter ensued with fast moves from both sides. There were too many excellent moves by the Deeside team to describe in detail. Deeside try scorers were John Crilly, Tom Christie, Andrew Mullins and Cameron Wood, whose solo run from the centre line followed by two Garioch players hot on his tail was great to watch. Jack Christie again took a number of the conversions and is proving adept at his newly learnt skill.
Even two quick tries by the home team in the middle of the game didn’t dampen Desside’s spirits as they continued to respond with great play both from the forwards and the backs. Daniel Graham made some excellent tackles and is rapidly becoming a key member of the squad. New players to the club, Bailey Blyth and James Sanders also equipped themselves well in a fast and furious encounter. Centre Liam Hutcheon was strong in the tackle and with his fellow backs Struan Gordon, John Crilly and Cameron Wood made a number of incisive moves to gain advantage over the opposition.
The final score of 62 to 52 in Deeside’s favour was testament to how hard both teams played for this thrilling 60-minute game. Parents on both sides enjoyed a fine example of youth rugby, finished off by a welcome drink and food kindly supplied by the Garioch parents & supporters. Andrew Hardman was injured following a committed tackle on the home team’s crash ball exponent and, after some pitch-side first aid, was taken to the hospital by his father with a nasty gash to the shin. We’re happy to report that all is well and we should see him back at training next week. Check the new club website for details of training and next fixtures http://www.deeside-rfc.co.uk/. New players are always welcome at any point in the season.