Deeside U18s claimed a valuable away victory against local rivals Aberdeen Grammar in the Caledonia U18 Premier League North, winning by 26 points to 19. The reverse fixture had been a tense, hard fought but ultimately scoreless draw. However, Deeside started with an intensity that was unlikely to go unrewarded and when Calum Gordon at outside centre stepped outside his opposite number he had the pace to take him clear and score the try which opened the scoring. Malcolm Diack added the conversion. Throughout the first half Deeside looked to move the ball wide and winger Lewis Reid was prominent with several powerful runs. The forwards and backs linked well, with hard running forwards taking short passes from mid-field backs to gain ground and tie in opponents before releasing strike runners. Angus Wallace and Tom Christie were particularly good at offering themselves to make the hard yards, while Chris Ballentyne was prominent in tidying up around the fringes and tackling hard. Throughout the match, scrum half Joe Grimble harried his opposite number and provided a good service to his outside backs. In the tight, Deeside's pack were dominant with Melvin McAskill and Scott Beatie providing a solid core. A penalty for hands in the ruck allowed Grammar to pull back three points, but this was against the run of play and Deeside soon retaliated. A penalty was kicked to the corner and from the line out the ball was passed to Tobias Cochrane-Dyet who took the ball over the gain line. The ball was quickly recycled and rapid passes by Glen Taylor, Tom Christie and Calum Gordon gave Lewis Reid an overlap to score the try in the corner. Still not satisfied, and despite temporarily losing flanker Tom Christie to a particularly hard collision, Deeside continued to press and replacement flanker Murray Hoare immediately stepped into the breach, claiming a difficult kick ahead from Grammar. Deeside claimed their third try when Calum Gordon spotted a gap and broke clear. A good attempt was made to catch him, but to no avail. Again, Malcolm Diack added the conversion.
With the sun and a slight breeze behind them, Grammar started the second half a changed team, winning the re-start and a lapse in the Deeside defence allowed a Grammar back to break free. Chasing back, Calum Gordon caught the attacker on the try line, but he was unable to prevent the score and turned his ankle in the process, ending his game. With a reorganised midfield and the disruption of a couple of replacements, Deeside lacked the fluency of the first half and when a number of kicks were awarded against them they started to lose their way. A second Grammar try in the corner added to the pressure and when a penalty was awarded to Grammar in front of the posts, the Deeside lead was down to just three points. Slowly, Deeside moved the play back into the Grammar half and with darting breaks by Glen Taylor at fly half and driving play from the forwards started to reclaim the initiative. Twice Deeside won eminently kickable penalties to open a gap between the score. However first Malcolm Diack and then George Watt pushed their kick wide. Nerves were finally eased when Harvey MacCauley carried the ball to within five metres of the try line. Play was carried on by full back George Watt, supported by Chris Long on the wing and Fraser Gordon claimed the close range try. Malcolm Diack added the conversion. There was still time for Grammar to kick another penalty, but time was up and Deeside had hung on to win. Next weeks game is against Orkney at home, with a 12 noon KO.
Deeside from: McAskill, Hart, Wallace, Beatie, F. Gordon, Ballentyne, Christie, Diack, Grimble, Taylor, MacCauley, Cochrane-Dyet, C. Gordon, Reid, Watt, Hoare, Long, McGowan, Dawson