With barely five minutes on the clock Perthshire opened the scoring in this Caledonia U15 Cup quarter final. Perthshire’s opening try was set up by a series of quick rucks with some good off loads out of tackles and it looked like Deeside might be on the back foot for much of this game. Deeside had other ideas and despite the early set back were soon looking the stronger side, moving ball quickly away from the contact area and launching a number of attacks that tested the Perthshire defence. Undaunted Perthshire’s held their lines well and the game entered a period of deadlock. With only five minutes of the first half remaining the Deeside pressure eventually paid off with a try for Patrick Nicol at centre, unconverted, the teams turned around at half time with Perthshire holding on to a narrow two point lead 5:7. At this point Deeside with a 20 strong squad made several tactical substitutions including replacement of Jamie Hillier who had done an excellent job at scrum half by his brother Matthew.
The second half continued with Deeside beginning to cement their hold on the game. Deesides scrumaging power with Tyler Booth at loose head and the power hous of Andrew Mullins and Alex taylor in the second row began to sap the opposition’s energy with the pack exerting constant pressure on Perthshire; although Deeside were penalised for pushing more than 1.5m. Eventually, Deeside’s break came when tight-head prop Elliot Wood managed to power over the Perthshire line. The conversion was added by Patrick Nicol and Deeside took the lead 12:7. At the break down Deesides back row started to dominate, with Garran Sutton and Will Underwood both putting in strong performances instrumental in several turn-overs. With Perthshire on the back foot Deeside’s confidence had grown and several slick moves through the backline and well timed draw and give passes by Captain John Crilly put winger James Long into enough space to show his form and pace and test the Perthshire side to the limit. Deesides third try was possibly the most important and best worked of the game as it moved them into a more comfortable 19:7 lead. The try came from some excellent off loading in the tackle and good support play with open side flanker Angus McCance providing a key link and was finished off superbly by Liam Hutcheon using his pace and power to make the line. Perthshire never recovered from this decisive score and an ill judged clearance in the dying moments of the game was fielded by Duncan Harle at full back and from just 30 meters out his pace was more than adequate to out skirt the Perthshire defence who had all gathered at one side of the pitch. John Crilly added the conversion and referee’s whistle went for full time with the final score 26:7. To a large degree the score flatters Deeside as this was a very competitive game and all credit to Perthshire who played well throughout. Deeside need to work hard in training if they wish to progress further than the semi final of the Cup, but the potential is there.
Deeside: Jack Christie, James Long, Jamie Hillier, Adam Thomson, Liam Hutcheon, Connor Bull, Angus McCance, Tyler Booth, William Underwood, Andrew Mullins, John Crilly, Alexander Taylor, Struan Gordon, Elliot Wood, Matthew Hillier, Rafe Welsh, Patrick Nichol, Duncan Harle, Andrew Hardman, Garran Sutton.