16/04/11 Shire Leave it Late to Win Last Home Game of the Season
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 27 - 25 Glasgow Accies
The final home game of the season for Shire was against Glasgow Accies at Woodside on Saturday, and with some revenge due for the result in Glasgow earlier in the season and after two home bonus point wins in a row, Shire were determined and confident.
There was another big crowd down to support the boys and Howie’s parents made the trip up as well – even if the auld man was supporting the wrong team. The game kicked off with Shire playing away from the clubhouse and in a fairly even start two penalties were swapped to make the score 3-3.
After that, the much talked about Shire forward dominance went missing as Accies upped their game and deservedly took the lead after a break from the scrum, unconverted. Worse was to follow as some poor tackling in the Accies half led to a breakaway try from their own 22, this time converted for a 15-3 score line.
Craig ‘the caveman’ Livingstone came off the bench breathing fire after being benched for some reason (probably for repeated and over excited telling of his wee lass’s retreating poop story) and started to get some go forward with some typical hard running and the Shire forwards were to claim their first try of the day after an expertly executed lineout lead to an unconverted try in the corner, Lummy taking the glory, the pack doing the hard work and Mason claiming the credit for catching Shaun’s dodgy throw. 15-8.
Looking to capitalise on the momentum, we didn’t. A loose pass went to ground, leading to another 95 meter breakaway try. Even Kenny (new Baz) couldn’t catch the Accies speedster who picked up from Mally’s (new Gaz’s) knock-on from Gaz’s (old Gaz’s) questionable pass as in the crowd Baz (old Baz) looked on in disgust. 20-8 to Accies at half time.
So not for the first time this season there were stern words at half time, and Shire responded well with the knowledge that this was the last 40 minutes of rugby at Woodside for the season.
Early in the second half, Shire played some good territorial rugby and got down near the Accies try line. Big Cook saw a gap open up at the side of the ruck and gratefully strolled over for a try. The Accies player who should have been filling the hole claimed to have been held back by some magnificent ‘Big Show’ style wrestling moves from Captain Mason – but no video evidence could be seen to confirm or deny this accusation. Converted for 20-15.
With Shire back on the front foot the ball was again worked down into the right area of the pitch by the backs and another ruck on the 5 meter line led to a bullet blindside pass to Mason on the wing to score his customary ‘last home game of the season’ first try. And he did score it contrary to reports from his teammates, the Accies team and most of the crowd – basically everyone except the ref. What a great ref he was. And the score was tied at 20-20. Dismay was to follow as Accies got back on the scoresheet to take the score to 25-20.
But with 5 minutes to play and the Woodside faithful giving plenty of vocal support to spur the boys on, a Barny / Mason combo tackle turned the ball over in the Shire half – The big Accies player let the ball go after holding onto it on the ground after some gentle and fair persuasion – for Kenny (New Baz) to pick a gap in the defence and following on from good performances in the last few games, go the length of the pitch for another great try. There was a pride induced tear in the eye of Old Baz as he watched on from the sidelines. And with the scores tied at 25-25, young standoff got his reward for a great game by slotting the match winning conversion – full time Shire 27- 25 Accies.
Squad: 15. R. Campbell 14.M White 13. J. Stephen 12. K. Penman 11. M. MacLugash 10. E. Brumwell 9. G. Leith
1. A. Sutherland 2. S. Mountain 3. S. Cook 4. J. Mason 5. M. Fotheringham 6. J. Howie 7. R. Lumsden 8. K. Gilmartin
16. B. Henderson 17. C. Livingston 18. A. Cran
Tries: Lumsden, Cook, Mason, Penman
Cons: Brumwell 2
Report: John Mason
09/04/11 Penman Strikes 3 as Shires Form Continues
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 39 - 20 Allan Glens
Shire played their 3rd consecutive home match on Saturday, welcoming back last season’s league rivals Allan Glens, with hopes of a more fortuitous affair than the last time the teams met at Woodside. It was probably the best day of the season so far for rugby with the sun shining accompanied by a fine light breeze - although this was not enough to tempt all supporters away from the clubhouse where the Grand National was being screened.
The game kicked off with the first ten minutes or so being closely fought as was expected in the pre-match build up. Both teams were controlling their plays well, only exchanging a penalty each, and it wasn’t until speedy thinking and quick hands from young Stand-Off Brumwell that Allan Glens’ defensive line was broken through the release of centre Kenny Penman. Although support tried to keep up, their jobs were made redundant as Penman – hair flowing gracefully - beat 3 covering defenders on his way to scoring shires first try.
From the restart Shire applied more pressure, quickly finding themselves on Glens’ 5 metre line for a scrum. Shires dominance in the pack had been retained from last week and after a couple of penalties awarded from the resultant scrums, Craig Catto powered his way over from close range for Shires second score. This pressure was maintained by Shire, enabling them to break the Allan Glens line once more when the ball was intercepted by MacLugash who, offloading out of the tackle, found Penman on the charge, for the centre to run another 50 metres scoring his 2nd touchdown of the afternoon. Try converted, score at 17-3, Shire felt their work for the day was done. However, the remaining 10 minutes of the first half were dominated by Allan Glens who seemed to have woken up, scoring 2 breakaway tries, one of which was converted, to take the halftime score to 20-15.
With Allan Glens right back in the game, a stern half time talk was dealt by the coaches discouraging the lack in composure from which was suffered earlier in the season, and for once it seemed that Shire took heed. The second half was played at rapid pace as both sides continually exchanged possession. It was Shire though, who once again were first to break the deadlock, as Kenny Penman, running a smart line, burst the gap and sprinted to the try line to complete his hat-trick of tries. All credit to Allan Glens however as they did not take their foot off the gas and soon found themselves deep in Shires 22. Keeping it in the forwards, Glens edged closer to the line and their patience eventually paid off as they crashed over for a typical forwards score. A blow was soon to follow however, as almost straight from the restart Penman’s accomplice Iain Irvine got on the end of a chip-through to score in the corner. The game continued, and Shire soon put themselves in prime position for another try to the forwards, but a dodgy call from the linesman forced Brumwell’s penalty kick out dead. Not to be outdone however, Shire responded to this by forcing pressure back into the oppositions 22, and Steven Cook bulldozed his way over the line to score his second try in so many games. Try converted, these were to be the last points of the game as Shire held off Allan Glens push for their much needed 4 try bonus point. Final Score 39-20.
A good strong performance by Aberdeenshire, showing off some entertaining rugby and scoring 6 tries in the process. Let’s hope this form continues as we go into the last two games of the season in the hopes of claiming 4th spot.
Squad: 15. G Cunningham 14. J Stephen 13. K Penman 12. I Irvine 11. M MacLugash 10. E Brumwell 9. M White
8. C Catto 7. R Lumsden 6. J Howie 5. J Mason 4. M Fotheringham 3. S Cook 2. S Mountain 1. A Sutherland
16. R Mountain 17. D Coull 18. Doug Macrae
Tries: Penman 3, Irvine, Cook , Catto
Cons: Brumwell 2
Report: Michael MacLugash
02/04/11 Revenge is Sweet for Shire
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 29 - 0 Highland
Shire played host to their local derby team Highland who travelled three hours to reach the land that time forgot, Woodside. Morning showers had made the Shire pitch wet under foot although the sun was shining to allow good running rugby. The warm-up set the tone of the game after some encouraging words from the Canadian import coach Allan MacCreadie, as shire sought revenge after their unimpressive performance up north.
Straight from the kick-off the shire pack showed their intent and “thuggish” behaviour as they controlled the game in open play and set pieces. With the great work upfront setting up clean ball for the backs to show off their running capabilities, breaking the highland line almost at will.
The first try came from remaining kiwi import Brook, quick ball allowed “Man of the Match” Gary Leith, to pass the ball the right way (this is often rarely the case) with space in front and a passive Highland defence allowed Brook to dander round and score in the corner, conversion missed.
‘With the shire dominating in the forwards and backs running and handling well the second try came through “Gavlar” who was not sporting his usual attire of a Superdry jacket and matching tracksuit bottoms. He used his mediocre pace to burst down the wing to touchdown in the corner, conversion missed.
Great work from the piggy’s up front as they built up numerous phases of play edging shire closer and closer to the whitewash. Ball retention and good territorial play allowed shire to remain within the Highland half for the majority of the first period. The sustained pressure allowed a well worked set piece to release the backline. The Highland defence pushed up onto the outside man allowing a simple inside pass to Iain Irvine to walk under the posts unopposed, converted by Brumwell.
On conclusion of the first half the shire outfit could hold their heads high with a complete performance. Some encouraging words from the coaches stating not to take the foot off the gas, fell upon deaf ears as play became disjointed.
This was epitomized by love struck Kris Gilmartin as he tried his full repertoire of tricks and skills in a fluent movement, butchering a scoring opportunity, earning himself the coveted title of “Dick of the Day”.
Despite the dip in performance Shire mustered together to apply consistent pressure releasing yet more quick ball, used effectively out wide. Brook shot out of the starting blocks, gathered the flat ball and using the dance moves he has accumulated on his countless nights out, stepped and jived his way over the try-line, claiming his second of the day, converted by Brumwell.
The Aberdeenshire pack disruptions of Highlands ball at rucks had been upsetting their number 9 all game and he was about to hit 8.9 on the whining scale, only thought possible by Shire’s very own grumpy old man Gary Leith. The girlie comments and constant bickering at the referee saw fit for a yellow card, not learning that his crying was angering the ref he persisted to whinge and threw his rattle off his pram earning himself a red.
Despite Highland having only fourteen men left on the field they applied some good attacking rugby and a clever kick down the field allowed the winger with their best chance of the game. The only player to chase back was none other than the “Man of Steel” John Boi Mason. The disgruntled figure looming in the background must have startled the winger as he fumbled the ball just short of the whitewash, captured by the unruly mob on the sideline. Despite this he cried out to the referee claiming he had scored as he lay in the foetal position, to no avail as a scrum five was called.
The final score of the day was claimed by none over than Senior Cook from his natural position of centre. Steven reverted back to his probe forward mentality as he powered his way over the try-line leaving a path of destruction behind him. Although this wasn’t as majestic as his running two weeks previous, it was more effective as he needed no help reaching the line, not converted.
The final memorable moment occurred just short of time as the “Rubber Man” found himself at the bottom of a compromising situation, as the Highland Assistant coach persisted to assault Michael on the deck. Just a wee note to let everyone be aware of, despite being arguably the hottest day of the year so far the highland assistant coach was wearing a fetching pair of tights. As Michael lay helplessly under the aging man, players rushed to his aid. This was nothing compared to the heckling and abuse he received from Michael’s Mum as she bellowed from the sideline. As she herself received some heated abuse from other Highland players joining the brawl, Michael used his extensive vocabulary and did the honourable thing for this injustice towards his Mum, and told them off by screaming, “leave my mum alone!”.
The final score was 29-0, a well deserved result for the effort throughout the team. The performance allowed the shire men to celebrate well into the night to the musical talents of Captain Caveman singing his rendition of “Born in the USA”.
Squad: 15. B. Tremayne 14. M. MacLugash 13. K. Penman 12. I. Irvine 11. G. Cunningham 10. E. Brumwell 9. G. Leith
1. S. Cook 2. S. Mountain 3. A. Sutherland 4. J. Mason 5. M. Fotheringham 6. C. Livingston 7. R. Lumsden 8. K. Kilmartin
16. J. Howie 17. J. Stephen 18 .R. Mountain
Tries: Treymane 2, Irvine, Cunningham, Cook
Cons: Brumwell 2
Report: Kenny Penman
26/03/11 Shire Fight Hard But Discipline and Drive Not Enough to Defeat League Leaders
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 12 - 29 Hawick YM
Hawick YM arrived at Woodside on Saturday top of the table and looking to maintain their unbeaten record, a record which ‘Shire was aiming to bring to a halt. The team lined up without their two Kiwi imports, number 8 Api Sione having returned to New Zealand following the unexpected death of his mother and Brook Tremayne missing with a hamstring injury.
After the previous week’s narrow loss to Waysiders in Glasgow, all preparation had been focussed on line speed and defence, with the game plan to shutdown Hawick’s 10-12 channel and prevent them shipping the ball wide as they had done so effectively in the first meeting between the two sides. ‘Shire were looking to keep it tight, be stuffy and get under the visitors’ skins. Unfortunately for ‘Shire they got off to the worst possible start when an early knock-on presented the visitors with a scrum around the ‘Shire 10m line. From the scrum, ‘Shire’s line speed in defence was good but poor communication from the inside man allowed the opposition to break in midfield and finish off neatly in the corner. Barely 2 minutes gone and already ‘Shire were under their own posts.
‘Shire hit back from the restart with some good phases with the ball in hand, but it was apparent that the visitor’s slick handling and desire to get the ball wide was causing the drift defence problems. A turnover on halfway led to Hawick crossing the ‘Shire whitewash again after a break from one of their locks ended with another score in the corner.
After this nervy opening however, ‘Shire seemed to settle and began to exert pressure on the visitors’ pack, slowing down the Hawick ruck ball and winning their own ball cleanly. This slowing of the visitors’ ball allowed hooker Susan Mountain an opportunity to smash the opposition 10 which he gladly took, much to the delight of the crowd.
Midway through the first half, after stand off, Euan Brumwell saw a couple of long range penalties drift just wide, ‘Shire opened their account. Winger Jamie Stephen chipped over the Hawick defence and stretched to muster the slightest hint of downward pressure on the ball, just ahead of his opposite number.
The rest of the first half saw some big hits and hard rucking from the ‘Shiremen with a few of the Hawick forwards getting a good shoeing. This aggression began to unsettle the Borderers and led to the rare site this season of ‘Shire gaining an extra 10 metres from a penalty from opposition back chat. Hawick managed a 3rd try before half-time following another break which was given despite strong claims from ‘Shire that full back Gavin Cunningham had held the ball up.
‘Shire finished the first half largely in the ascendancy although were unlucky to lose outside centre Kenny Penman to an unsightly gash (something which normally only affects rugby players post-match). This enforced change saw Martyn Snell come on to make his return from a shoulder injury. Concerted pressure right before half time saw the visitors lose a back row to the bin, however ‘Shire were unable to fully capitalise with a second try and went in trailing 5-17.
Half-time saw Josh Carr replace John Howie and Andy Sutherland come on for Barny Henderson. Both coach Bell and Captain Mason’s words were positive with the key points again line speed and aggression in defence.
The second half kicked off with the ‘Shiremen attacking the clubhouse. Early into the half an excellent catch and drive saw the Hawick forwards pushed over their own line from fully 22 metres out however the referee saw a Hawick hand under the ball and disallowed the try. From the resulting scrum ‘Shire continued the onslaught and soon gained their reward with Ross Lumsden offloading smartly for Andy Sutherland to shimmy over the line with Brumwell converting. Shire looked to be back in the game but were undone again soon after in the simplest of circumstances. Good Hawick pressure saw them rumble up to inside the ‘Shire 5m line and with the fringe defence AWOL, their scrum half nipped over for a simple try.
Despite the disappointment, ‘Shire kept the heads up and the pack began to dominate, especially in the set-piece. This set up a platform for some bruising running from the back row and midfield, however unable to emulate their opponents, the support work and offloading fell just short. The game ended with further disappointment for ‘Shire as, after containing the visitor’s back division for most of the second half, clean ball from a line out and simple, quick hands allowed for a fifth Hawick try in the corner. Final score, 12-29.
At the final whistle, Captain Mason hailed the performance as the finest of the season so far, praising the attitude of the squad and particularly the aggression and discipline. There is hard work to be done in training this week but ‘Shire can look forward to the visit of Highland next weekend with the knowledge that playing with a referee is far easier than playing against one.
Squad: 15. G. Cunningham 14. J. Stephen 13. K.Penman 12. I. Irvine 11. M.MacLugash 10. E. Brumwell 9. G.Leith
1. B.Henderson 2. S. Mountain 3. S. Catto 4. M. Fotheringham 5. J.Mason (c) 6. J. Howie 7. R.Lumsden 8. C. Livingston
16. A. Sutherland 17. J. Carr 18. M. Snell
Tries: Stephen, Sutherland
Report: Iain Irvine
19/03/11 Too little, too late!
Waysiders Drumpellier 19-17 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
The mighty shire travelled to Drumpellier Country Park aiming to do the double over a Waysiders Drumpellier side that is fighting to stay clear from the threat of relegation.
The theme of the day was set by the late arrival to the ground due to navigation issues, meaning kick off was delayed as Shire tried to shake off the journey in a short and somewhat lackadaisical warm up.
The opening 25 was to prove to be a training match for the Coatbridge side as Shire basically sat back, opened the picnic basket and spotted the wildlife going by. We offered no attacking prowess and measly physical presence going down to an early unconverted try and if it wasn’t for some accurate kicking from Jamie Stephen it could’ve been a lot worse. The home team had their dander up and it wasn’t until we’d finished the strawberries and cream that shire sprung into action.
Good secure ball from the forwards allowed Gary Leith to send a quick sharp pass to Big Cooks haring down the blindside, time seemed to stand still as the energetic figure of Steven strode majestically over the hallow turf, only adjusting his stride to allow a pop off to Jamie Stephen taking advantage of the good work already done. Jamie stepped out of the slip stream and sonic boom left by Cook and rode 2 tackles before getting shire on the score board! Converted.
The game then turned a little sour as Gary Leith was the victim of a sexual assault from his opposite number! Contact with an area that brings a tear to most men’s eyes was not seen by the ref but all credit to the general he took a deep breath, swallowed his balls and got on with the game.
In the dying minutes of the opening 40 the home side took advantage of the rub of the green and the ref forgetting his glasses as a stray ball from a Waysiders attack clearly came off the head and hand to fall forward into the hands of their gleeful winger! Shire stopped waiting for the inventible whistle that never came and we conceded a soft try this time under the posts.
HT: 12 - 7
Clearly not out of the game and with fire in the belly Shire started the second period with renewed vigor and confidence knowing that keeping the ball in hand would eventually produce the gaps. Sadly there was a blow to the fight back as good running from the Shire hooker Coulson took all the oxygen from his brain and transcended him to another world where a hooker can play 10, resulting in a wild pass intercepted by the gleeful winger once again to run in clear under the posts.
Now 19 - 7 down and with the bitter taste of another away defeat looming it took the poise and skill owned by one Api Sione to restore some pride, it wasn’t long before Api pawed his way through the tiring defence only to loop round and seemingly catch his own pass scoring a deserved try. Conversion missed.
Shire now in the ascendancy it was another piece of rugby magic that got Shire back within 2 points. The forward pack starting to exceed their dominance meant Shire were camped in the opposition 22 and a one out pass to the on running Susan allowed her to side step left, then right, spin round and bulldoze over with a quick pump of her long legs as she smashed the ball down with her top heavy gun rack. Conversion missed.
The home side now hanging on Shire could not find the killer instinct and with time against us the 2 tries proved too little too late and a another disappointing away defeat.
Squad: 15. B.Tremayne 14. J.Stephen 13. G. Cunningham 12. K.Penman 11. A.Cran 10. E. Brumwell 9. G. Leith
1. S. Cook 2. R. Coulson 3. A.Sutherland 4. S.Crawford 5. C. Catto 6. C.Livingston (c) 7. A.Sione 8. K. Gilmartin
16. S.Mountain 17. D. Coull 18. B. Davies
Tries: Stephen, Sione, Mountain
Report: Andy Sutherland
05/03/11 Poor Discipline Equals A Fruitless Journey South
Berwick 11-3 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
This weekend saw Aberdeenshire RFC travel across the border to England where they faced 2nd placed Berwick RFC in hope of reversing the result of the two team’s previous encounter in which Berwick convincingly won 36-10. With an early start and problem free journey, a slightly unfamiliar squad handed debuts to hooker Fraser Adams, winger Andy Cran and hooker Susan Mountain, stepping off the bus raring to go.
Shire kicked off the match and were soon to gain a confidence booster when a return kick from Berwick was fielded by stand-off Brook Tremayne who strongly ran the ball back breaking a few tackles before forcing the ball forward in an attempt to offload to MacLugash near the oppositions try line. Pressure was contained in Berwick’s half for the first 5 minutes with strong defence forcing mis-kicks from the home stand-off. Eventually however with a well placed kick from the Berwick midfield Shire were forced deep into their own 22. The line out was won well by the Shire pack and number 8 Api Sione made some good ground taking the ball close to the half way line, however possession was quickly turned over from what was evidently a result of the Berwick defence flopping over the top of the ruck (a theme that would seem to avoid the ref’s radar for the duration of the game). From the resulting turnover the ball was quickly shipped wide with an overlap on the right leaving the winger to score in the corner. The conversion was missed, which as most who saw would agree, was due to Barny’s enthusiastic charge down - although this time he didn’t get as far as kicking the ball off the tee.
Shire were quick to reply from Berwick’s try. After winning possession back from the kick off, a penalty was awarded within Tremayne’s range, which he slotted to score what would be Shires only points of the game. With continued efforts in attack Shire made good ground, and spent large majorities in the oppositions half . Another penalty was awarded, however this attempt was narrowly missed. The remainder of the 1st half was slightly disappointing for Shire, as front row debates with the ref resulted in yards being lost putting penalties into kickable positions, the 1st of which was scored but the 2nd missed making the score 8-3. It also seemed at one point that Shire were going to concede a penalty try as the referee struggled to get to grips with a rocky scrum, escaping this though Shire managed to maintain possession until half time stalling the score at 8-3 to the home side.
The second half saw Jamie Stephen substituted giving a cameo appearance for veteran back Robin Campbell. Shire started the second half strongly, pushing well into the oppositions half. Territory gained however, was continually being lost through sloppy mistakes and conceded penalties. Berwick too were producing some good attacks, however these were well broken down with Shires defensive line speed and in some cases great covering tackles by the back 3 and back row.
The middle period of the second half saw some more pressure on Shire as Berwick pushed to get the match winning score. This was not made any easier when forwards Susan Mountain and Api Sione found themselves on the wrong side of the Selkirk based referee, who saw fit to sin bin the pair, leaving Shire with only 13 men on the pitch at one point. During this time Berwick managed to get another 3 points on the scoreboard taking the scores to 11-3.
Managing to struggle through with 13 men both Api and Susan returned to the field with 10 mins left to play. Shires tempo was raised, and again they found themselves pushing into the oppositions half, but unfortunately the clinical edge was missing and all eventually came to a close with the home side winning 11-3. This was a very strong performance from Shire hindered by too much bickering at the referee and errors at crucial moments. The team proved they were not a push over, but more is needed to avoid another disappointment on the road.
Squad: 15. J.Stephen 14. M.MacLugash 13. K.Penman 12. I.Irvine 11. A.Cran 10. B.Tremayne 9. B.Morris
1. B.Henderson 2. S.Mountain 3. A.Sutherland 4. S.Crawford 5. J.Mason (c) 6. C.Livingston 7. J.Howie 8. A.Sione
16. F.Adams 17. J.Carr 18. R.Campbell
Report: Michael MacLugash
26/02/11 Shire Get Deserved Revenge On Distant Rivals
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 26-7 Newton Stewart
Today Shire host Newton Stewart who narrowly beat Shire in their first win of the season 19-18, so this was to be the catalyst for which turned out to be a very entertaining match. Shire came out with pride on the line and the thought of returning the favour on their home ground. With some pre match rearranging to the team saw the return of Jamie Stephen to full back after a few frustrating weeks out. It also provided young Colts U18 back Gavin Thomas his first call up to the senior squad, which also provided him with his debut.
Shire came out full guns blazing with great control in the forward pack in the scrum and inspiring running play from the back, for only a handful of times this season the team came together as one unit. With Shire’s dominance the kicking game was put away much to the dismay of the forwards pack, however the back made some fluent running lines resulting in line breaks and some majestic support from the forwards Shire found themselves in the opposition half frequently
Shire found themselves on their own 22 defending a line out it seemed all too easy to steal the ball in the line out to which a resulting drive from the opposition forwards pinned Shire into their own 22. Which resulting in the ball being stolen back and to the surprise to both backs and forwards the opposition flopping over the line for a soft try, Shire got a few words of encouragement for captain John Mason too keep it tight and get back into the oppositions half.
Shires persistence paid off when the forwards made some good yardage with some great fat man rugby which gave Gary Leith clean ball to release the back who went wide and spread the defence and after clearing their own breakdown Gary swung the ball out wide the other way with the defence struggling to hold Shire out big Stuart flopped over the line for Shire first try of the day, which was narrowly missed my brook. With some great draw and passing Chad “china doll” Frenchman found himself needing to go off, and paving the way for Gavin “baby face” Thomas to make his first senior appearance.
With their tails up and the realisation that the backs were running rings around there opposite backs the ball was finding itself more frequently out to the back to which they used the ball well and positively. When the ball went wide to Mike Maclugash he snaked his way past his opposite number and only had to pass one more man but as he ducked out of the oncoming challenge mike “slapped” him on the back of the head, to which the tackler didn’t like it and after a punch the ref took the correct action to send off the Newton Stewart player. Shire knew that now was the time to start turning the screw with the numerical advantage. With Shire camped out in the oppositions half for most of the remaining first half the defence stayed strong, but with some silly mistakes from Shire. When the ball did come to the back they were decisive with a flat pass to Gav “the Chav” Cunningham bursting through the line with no real attempt to stop him. With the conversion slotted home Shire started to really control the game both in the forwards and backs. With ever mounting pressure Shire’s backs moved the ball from left to right patiently waiting for the gaps to appear when full back Jamie Stephen joined the line and received the ball he broke through two tackles and was just half tackled by the third tackler just enough to trip him up but with great support play from the forwards the ball was gone within seconds which released the second wave of attack by the backs with resulted in an attempted interception that was knocked on, from the uncontested scrum on Newton Stewards 22 the backs got the ball early with yet another brilliant flat pass from Brook Tremayne to the other centre Kenny Penman who broke through the cover tackle and went under the posts for the score. The resulting conversion was slotted away.
Shire came out in the second half as they went in at the end of the first in complete dominance and control making camp in the opposition half. When a turn over wall was cleared, the ball was gathered up by the Shire full back who decided to run the ball, and with some great confidence he broke past the chasers to which he ran half way down the field to which he drew and passed to Brook who also drew and passed but with Gavin Thomas hugging the touchline it resulted in him popping an excellent inside ball to Gavin Cunningham who got bundled into touch just 5 metres short of the try line.
With ever growing pressure the Shire pack decided that the backs had had their fun for the day and played some really good aggressive forwards rugby with a quick tap and go Gary Leith popped the ball to Cavey who instead of running at the massive hole decided to take route 1 right through two props with good conviction he got the score and Shire vital extra point. And yet again Brook Tremayne converted.
Shire then took their foot off the accelerator which let the opposition out of their own half and make some yards when a line break happened full back Jamie Stephen did what he had to do and trust his covering defence and take out the ball carrier who popped it to his support runner who kicked the ball on and was taking out of the game by Ross Lumsden who received a yellow card for his antics. But with some good tackling the ball was soon turned over and with yet another good run from the backs and support from the forwards the Shire line broke through again but with a few mistakes the ball was lost forward. The ref then blew for full time much to the relief of the Newton Stewart defence, in conclusion on the match Shire made their dominance known and the control felt, but to the dismay of the Shire team Newton Stewart at no point gave up the kept on trying. Over all it was a top class performance from both the back and especially the forwards who kept up with the backs who ran the ball all day, but more importantly the Shire team came together and played as a single unit and ground out another fine victory with a 26-7 win.
Squad: 15. J.Stephen 14. C.Frenchman 13. K.Penman 12. G.Cunningham 11. M.MacLugash 10. B.Treymane 9. G.Leith
1. B.Henderson 2. C.Catto 3. A.Sutherland 4. S.Crawford 5. J.Mason (c) 6. C.Livingston 7. R.Lumsden 8. A.Sione
16. G.Thomas 17. L.Emslie 18. S.Smith
Tries: Crawford, Cunningham, Penman, Livingston
Cons: Treymane 3
Report: Jamie Stephen
19/02/11 Shire Complete The Castle Douglas Double
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 28-3 Stewartry
Aberdeenshire played their first home game in over 2 months with the visit of Castle Douglas outfit Stewartry. The home team were looking for their first double of this stop start season after recording their only away win against the visitors earlier in the campaign. Needless to say the Shire squad were very pleased to finally be back playing at fortress Woodside.
The game started poorly for the hosts with pedantic plenty being awarded to Stewartry for offside at the first scrum down. The Stewartry kicker promptly converted to give the visitors an early 3 point reward for their long trip north. This kick started the Shiremen into action with the forward pack taking a grip on the game in the set piece and in the loose. Even with this control the home team struggled to trouble the scorekeeper but their patient play finally reaped its rewards.
From a 5 metre scrum the Shire pack pushed the visitors back 4 metres and with great control from number 8 Api Sione the push over try was inevitable, that was until the Stewartry scrum half kick the ball from the scrum to concede the much deserved penalty try converted by Ewan Brumwell. This ended the scoring for the first half with the only other news worthy information being a 1-1 scoreline on the yellow card front with 1 being more justified than the other!
Halftime score Aberdeenshire 7-3 Stewartry.
Aberdeenshire’s patient first half attack played off further in the second half with all the defending taking a lot out of the Stewartry team. Shire took full advantage of this with a 3 try flurry early in the second period all converted by Shire’s Caley and Scotland U18 Ewan Brumwell.
The first coming from a break Byron Kelleher would have been proud of from Shire’s own little powerhouse at 9 Gary Leith, from this ruck break the ball was passed to the well supporting openside Ross Lumsden who in turn drew the last defender for number 8 Api Sione to nip inbetween the creator Leith for a well worked 7 pointer. It must also be pointed out that coach Allan MacCreadie thought the Leith break was by one of the teams wingers as it seemed so quick! Apologies if this reporter seems to be milking this moment, well he is! As this doesn’t happen very often these days! The following 2 scores came courtesy of Shire’s other Kiwi import Brooke Treymene who finished off 2 very well worked tries from well balanced forward and back play, both scored in style by the big fullback.
Shire dominated the rest of the match but did not improve on their 4 try tally. This could be the only criticism aimed at the team as the balanced attack was some of the best the team has produced this season. Especially in the second half with the backline letting loose and trying things which was great for the home fans to see. A really enjoyable win for the Woodside men and a glimpse to the real potential within the squad.
Squad: 15. B.Treymane 14. G.Cunningham 13. K.Penman 12. I.Irvine 11. M.MacLugash 10. E.Brumwell 9. G.Leith
1. B.Henderson 2. C.Catto 3. R. Mountain 4. S.Crawford 5. J.Mason (c) 6. C.Livingston 7. R.Lumsden 8. A.Sione
16. C.Frenchman 17. A.Grammer 18. S.Smith
Tries: Penalty Try, Sione, Treymane 2
Cons: Brumwell 4
Report: Gary Leith
The Super Twas Can't Catch The Bonus Point
Huntly 0-15 Aberdeenshire 2nd XV
Shire made there away trip on a less than exciting mood knowing no matter what the result the league was out of their grasp. The trip up only made the feelings worse when the weather turned into drizzle. The team took the pitch for the warm up where they realised they were actually playing on a mossy bog rather than a rugby field. With the intensity not quite there in the warm up, Shire’s mentality was almost as if they expected Huntly to turn over and take a beating, but this was far from the case. Right from the kick off Huntly tried there hardest to out fox the Shire pack which was lacking a few key positions but stand in prop rugby Baz really hoped it would be contested scrumming but to his dismay the ref took one look at his physic and felt sorry for the opposition he called it. But with a lot of pressure inside Huntly’s half it was only a matter of time before Shire got there first try which came in the for of a great phase of quick passes and the great side step of Jamie Stephen who found the gap and was through for the first of the day, but missed the conversion.
Huntly didn’t put their heads down they were right back up in our half with some good possession rugby, but the Shire defence stayed strong throughout, but with some dubious decisions from the referee Huntly got a line out on the Shire 5 metre line which was won but with some bad hands the ball was knocked on. Resulting in a Huntly scrum on the 5 metre line which was a pick and go by there number 8 but again Shires defence stayed strong with no sign of crumbling. The resulting defensive performance was finally seen by the ref where he gave one of his handful of penalties to Shire, Which put Shire back into the oppositions half.
The second half Shire needed to get their act together so with some words of wisdom from stand in number 10 Dave Roberts (who took over from Alex “10 minute wonder” Moore) Shire decided to run the ball at most plays. Which to Huntlys favour most attempts at running the ball meant the ball spent more time being knocked on than in hands. It wasn’t until half way through the second half where Shire gained good ground through the forwards who minus a few handling errors made no real mistakes and showed some really good controlled aggression. From the resulting pressure Dave Roberts hit Jamie Stephen who was running the inside line in-between the centres and with good strength broke through the challenges that they made to cross over the line and take a little more pressure off. With some great open field play Shire forwards were making good ground , then out of nowhere Usain “foggy” Bolt made a 30 yard dart through the defence resulting in a chip and chase past the fullback, now the real chase was on with the ball and line in site foggy was almost celebrating but the opposition winger had a different idea to which he tripped him up, but like all Shire breaks support was there in the form of Ben Morris who may have got the ball down but with the ref still somewhere back near the spectating forwards he gave it with his amazing sight, to which the conversion was again missed.
All in all Shire were disappointed not to have put a cricket score on the opposition, but with the points made after the game regarding what needs to be done to improve, Shire left the field with a good win.
Final score 15-0
Squad: 15. J. Stephen 14. G. Jungle 13. A. Paxton 12. A. Cran 11. J Oyesiku 10. M. Snell 9. D. Roberts
1. A. Cook 2. T. Dugdale 3. M. Littlejohn 4. C. Flett 5. D.Coull 6. B. Davies 7. R.Redmond 8. M. Fotheringham
16. A Falconer 17. N. Smart 18. M. Prop
Tries: Stephen 2, Morris
Report: Jamie Stephen
05/02/11 End Of The Road For Shire's Cup Campaign
Caithness 22 - 5 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
After a lovely 230 mile drive we arrived in the beautiful, thriving town of Thurso, ready for a game of rugby. After changing in the plush, lottery funded facilities the forwards warmed up and went through lineouts etc while the backs and Ross Lumsden compared hairstyles and lycra. When the team came together for a full run through and back in the shed like changing facilities, there was more in the air than the smell of shockwaves. There was a definite sense of purpose to correct the mistakes of last week and a will to win throughout the team.
The pitch was a little soggy but the conditions were good. Shire started well and it wasn’t long before they had a scrum on the Caithness five metre line. The ball was picked up from the back of the scrum and for what was to be Shires only try of the day was finished off well by Ross Lumsden. The conversion was narrowly missed. It wasn’t long before Shire were back down the field in a similar position but just weren't able to convert the pressure into points, due to small handling mistakes or infringements at the breakdown.
This was the story for the majority of the first half for the long distance drivers from Aberdeen. Caithness then scored a try from a catch and drive at a lineout near the end of the half, then just on the stroke of half time Shire just missed a long range penalty. Half time 5-5.
The second half began with Caithness getting a penalty, the score then remained 8-5 for a long period of the match. In this period Shire soaked up a lot of pressure from the home side, with some good defence, but the men in green were using the sun well by kicking deep into the travelling men’s half and making it hard for them to get out.
On one occasion when the away team were in the oppositions half attacking, a misplaced pass led to Caithness hacking the ball through all the way to the line for their winger to dive over just ahead of Paul Harrow.Their final try came in the last few minutes of the game through one missed front up tackle which allowed one of their back row forwards to run round the fringes of a ruck and dive under the posts. Full time Caithness 22 – 5 Aberdeenshire.
On a positive note it was an improvement from the previous week, the attitude of players was more positive and determined. The Shire scrum had the upper hand and communication (in defence) was better, leading to a much faster line speed. Although a handful of tackles were missed in the game it was much better than against Kilmarnock. There is still a lot of hard work to be done in training this week, if Shire are to start converting pressure into points and getting back to winning ways.
After the game we were able to enjoy the delights of our hosts, lottery funded shower facilities. It was good of them to provide water that was close to freezing as this woke the drivers up for the 230 mile return drive home. The meal provided by the Royal Hotel was one of the best the team had tasted this season, although only two players from the home side decided to join us.
After it became clear Scotland were not going to beat France, the reporter managed to drag Physios, Rosie and Abbey away from the bar and back to Aberdeen.
Squad: 15. B. Treymane 14. M. White 13. K. Penman 12. G. Cunningham 11. M. MacLugash 10. E. Brumwell 9. G. Leith
1. B. Henderson 2. R. Coulson 3. A. Sutherland 4. S. Crawford 5. J. Mason (c) 6. D. Coull 7. J. Howie 8. R. Lumsden
16. S. Cook 17. J. Carr 18. P. Harrow
Report: Barny Henderson
05/02/11 The Super Twas Live Up To The 'Super' Against Local Rivals
Ellon 2nd XV 0 - 80 Aberdeenshire 2nd XV
The Super Twa’s made the short trip to the Meadows for the second fixture against Ellon’s 2nd string this season. The first encounter ended in a tight 20-12 victory for the Super Twa’s at Woodside in gale force conditions. This match was to be played in similar dry, blustery conditions which would surely be an advantage to the team with the wind at their back.
With a core of seasoned pro’s in the starting line up, the Super Twa’s took to the field in confident mood, captained by ‘Cheesecake Cavey’ and supported by a gaggle of youngster’s eager to stake their claim for a place in the team for the forthcoming home matches against the league pacesetters, Garioch and Aberdeen Wanderers.
Straight from the kick-off, the Super Twa’s showed their intent, taking the game to Ellon at every opportunity with powerful hits in defence and strong running in attack. Very early on, it was clear Ellon’s young team were to be no match for the power and direct running of the Twa’s. Rustiness from the unplanned three month winter break was evident from both teams as numerous handling errors were made throughout the match. The resultant scrums again and again enabled the Twa’s to show their power, driving their opponents off the ball in all but two scrums all afternoon on the home side’s put-in. Stability from props Cook Junior and Littlejohn and the power from the 2nd row of Flett and Fotheringham gave young Dugdale the perfect platform to strike against the head on almost every occasion.
Domination of the scrums allowed the backline, pivoted by the experience of Roberts and Snell to attack at will, most of which resulted in significant gain-line advantage, free-flowing attack and numerous tries. In open play, the shire forwards were also showing their dominance with charging runs from Captain Caveman and Foggy from the many re-starts, rucking prowess from Davies and Redmond allowing the backs quick ball at every opportunity to slice through their Ellon counterparts. Jamie Stephen showed he has regained his confidence in attack, proving the doubters wrong, scoring five tries over the course of the game and assisting in several others, notably for Joe Oyesiku whose turn of speed was causing chaos all afternoon. The outside backs enjoyed feeling the burn though, with all the running in the game. The final dominating aspect of the match from the shire pack was the driving maul off the line-out, allowing little Cook to score two tries in the 2nd half of the match to seal an afternoon of utter domination for the Super Twa’s.
Final score: 0 - 80.
Squad: 15. J. Stephen 14. G. Jungle 13. A. Paxton 12. A. Cran 11. J Oyesiku 10. M. Snell 9. D. Roberts
1. A. Cook 2. T. Dugdale 3. M. Littlejohn 4. C. Flett 5. M. Fotheringham 6. B. Davies 7. R.Redmond 8. C Livingston
16. A Falconer 17. N. Smart 18. M. Prop
Tries: Cook (2), Stephen (5), Livingston, Fotheringham, Paxton, Oyesiku (3), Cran
Cons: Stephen (5)
MoM: The 2nd Row
Report: Michael Fotheringham
29/01/11 Shire Let Themselves Down After Long Lay-Off
Kilmarnock 31 - 0 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
Aberdeenshire made the long journey down to Kilmarnock having been told there was an 80% chance the game would go ahead. To the player’s relief, Aberdeenshire were to play their first game since 20th November, as planned. The weather was dry and bright, with the pitch reasonably firm so all the conditions were there for an expansive game of rugby.
Both sides were fired up and ready for the challenge, eager to prove their dominance over the other team, after the last encounter at Woodside that ended rather sourly. At the kick off, neither team gained any immediate advantage, with play and possession being fairly equal between both sides. Then Shires defence slipped up, missing a few tackles which should have been made, allowing Kilmarnock over for an easy score. This turned out to be par for the course, with a number of defence issues allowing Kilmarnock two further easy tries, which were both converted well by their stand-off. Shire’s closest attempt to getting points on the board was through two long range penalty attempts by stand-off Ewan Brumwell, which sadly both just dropped short.
Shire came back out after half time, still determined that a positive result could be salvaged through hard work and determination. Two Shire forwards unfortunately had to go off injured. These players coincidentally shared the same surname - Mountain. It is feasible and entirely probable that these forwards felt their contribution to the game was sufficient to entitle them to a well earned rest. Unfortunately, a positive result just wasn't to be with Kilmarnock scoring their bonus point try out wide and then the Kilmarnock forwards driving over the line from a line out for their 5th try of the game. To make it worse, this try was scored by a player known amongst his peers as "Hippo". The last 20 minutes of the game went slightly better for Shire as everyone gave their all and held Kilmarnock scoreless. Kenny "Special K" Penman earned his Man of the Match title during this period, with hard running and tackling being noticed by all. Some glimpses of the hard defence that Shire were capable of was shown by Api Sione putting in some big hits, with one of these being penalised as the opposition player almost being decapitated due to the tackle being ‘slightly’ high. Ewan Brumwell, Shires number 10 and new addition had a good debut, with many runs with the ball. Front row Barney Henderson also had many runs and a good impact on the game. This was overshadowed however, by his post match pride in his choice of underwear for the day. This turned out to be an assless jock strap / man thong, which, in the changing rooms, provided much merriment for all his teammates. A few players even dared to touch it.
Overall, the days performance was disappointing, with many areas of Shires game needing some work. The long break from playing had a noticeable impact on Shire, and hopefully performances will improve as everyone gets back into the swing of things. It was the case, once again, that Shire made their opponents look better than they were. Credit to Kilmarnock, however, as they took full advantage of everything Shire offered them, and were solid in defence.
Squad: 15. G. Cunningham 14. M. MacLugash 13. K. Penman 12. B. Tremayne 11. J. Stephen 10. E. Brumwell 9. G. Leith
1. B. Henderson 2. S. Mountain 3. S. Cook 4. S. Crawford 5. R. Mountain 6. J. Howie 7. R. Lumsden 8. A. Sione
16. A. Sutherland 17. M. White 18. J. Mason
Report: Steven Cook
20/11/10 Strong Defence Isn't Enough To Hold On For The Win
Caithness 19-12 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
After two heavy defeats on the trot, it was a long trip up to Thurso where Shire would try and get back to winning ways. With a few boys missing from the pack the coaches worked some football manager style transfer activity and secured the services of Craig & Ross from Aberdeen Grammar for the game.
So at 5pm on Friday night the team set off with the Mountain parents for support, and 6 hours later arrived who-knows-where to stay the night. The athletes in the 17 man squad took the chance during the 45 minute Inverness stop to enjoy a meal of complex carbs and protein for the game ahead, and the other 16 went to Burger King & Pizza hut. After a good night’s sleep, the athletes in the squad enjoyed some muesli, low fat yoghurt, scrambled eggs and toast for the game ahead. The other 16 smashed the buffet full English. And we wonder why the fitness level in the team has dropped away in the last few weeks?
With plenty of time to spare on Saturday morning, shire arrived in Thurso and had time to check out the heavy pitch, when we were reliably informed that it had been ‘pishing doon since last Saturday’. At 12pm Shire kicked off to a determined Caithness side looking to avenge the defeat in the first game of the season. After only 5 minutes or so, a good turnover was secured by the Shire pack and the ball was spun wide quickly, despite the conditions, for tripod MacLugash to dart down the wing and under the posts. Mally White converted for an early 7-0 Shire lead.
However, that was all Shire were going to get in the half and as they failed to string many phases together and played a scrappy half, conceding 2 penalties before half time which Caithness gladly accepted. At half time the Mountain brothers, both struggling with injury, made way for Irish Stu & Coully.
Into the second half and the game pretty much followed the same pattern. Shire giving 100% effort, laying their bodies on the line and putting in some massive hits – particularly Big Cook who enjoyed the Caithness straight running lines and lined a few freight train style hits from about 20 metres out. But it was the home side who had the majority of possession and territory and claimed a drop goal early on, followed by a short range try (converted) after some good pressure on the Shire line. Another penalty later, and Shire were 19-7 down going into the last 10 minutes.
To the team’s credit, they found the energy to get back into the game and after a good counter attack by the backs, the forwards put together a couple of quick phases and wee Gaz nipped over for the try, which went unconverted. The game stayed at 19-12 and in the end Caithness deserved their win but Shire can take a lot out of the game, the commitment & effort were excellent and hopefully once the injuries & absences start to clear up a more settled team will put the phases together, all that is needed to turn these narrow defeats into wins.
Another week off will hopefully help on that front, and then it’s a short trip down to Annan for undoubtedly another tough match, but the confidence from this game means Shire will be gunning for the win on the road.
Squad: 15. G.Cunningham 14.M.MacLugush 13. K.Penman 12.M.Lynch 11. J.Stephen 10. M.White 9. G.Leith
1. L.Emslie 2. S.Mountain 3. S.Cook 4. J.Mason (c) 5. C.Catto 6. R.Grammer 7. R.Lumsden 8. R.Mountain
16. S.Crawford 17. D.Coull
Tries: MacLugush, Leith
Report: John Mason
06/11/10 Highland Show More Desire To Take The Derby Points
Highland 30-7 Aberdeenshire 1st XV
On the turn of the half point in the season Shire travelled to Inverness to play a confident Highlands team where shire were on the hunt to redeem after their first loss at home to second place Berwick RFC.
With Shire missing skipper John Mason due to injury, Ryan Mountain led from the front wearing the captain's armband.
The match started with Shire receiving kick-off where initial ground was made and remained in possession for the first couple of minutes and after some good chasing work by Michael MacLugash Aberdeenshire had a penalty inside the Highlands 22 but the kick at goal was unfortunately missed. After the 22 drop out was received Highland’s hungry and strong pack turned over the ball and had possession for a long period of time which eventually ended in a converted try under the posts from their Fijian centre. Very disappointing for the Shire defence as this came straight from first phase from a lineout on the 22.
Towards the end of the first half pressure from the Shire pack was showing on the Highland defence as they were within 5 yards of the try line and after perseverance and hard work won a scrum penalty which was taken by Gary Leith who seen space for Ryan Mountain but the try was unfortunately held up and disallowed to the bemusement of the burly South African and his team. This was the turning point in the match as a score for Shire from this period of pressure would have swung the match back in the visitors favour. Unfortunately Shire did gain any points from this good period which in turn added more confidence to the home teams play. This led to a converted penalty extending the lead before half time.
With some stern words from the coaching staff at half time it was made obvious the game was still there for the winning at 10-0 but it would have to take a gutsy performance from the whole Aberdeenshire side.
In the second half Aberdeenshire did not produce the high intensity required to beat the Highland side, allowing the centres to run hard and suck in too many defenders which had the Aberdeen team under constant pressure. Although Michael MacLugush was making plenty of destructive tackles on it opposite number another Fijian who looked like he could prop down with the best of them if a little quicker! Earning MacLugush a well deserved man of the match performance, unfortunately this example was not followed by his teammates allowing Highlands to score two more tries. Again the Shire defence will be disappointed with both scores as the hosts didn’t have to work overly hard to cross the Shire line.
After strong pressure from the Aberdeen side at the end of the second half forced the Highlands side into conceding a number of penalties which were taken quickly and Aberdeenshire soon found themselves deep inside the opposition 22. Here another penalty conceded by the highlands team allowed Barney Henderson to take the ball quickly and offloading it to Steve Cook to evade 3 Highland tackles to score under the posts which Mally White converted.
A positive end to a firm warning for the Aberdeenshire side that was unfortunate with disallowed tries which could have influenced the game but ultimately more hunger and desire from the Highland pack won them the match. This Aberdeenshire side must take positives as they travel north again for the next game in Caithness.
Squad: 15. G.Cunningham 14.M.MacLugush 13. K.Penman 12.M.Snell 11. J.Stephen 10. M.White 9. G.Leith
1. B.Henderson 2. C.Catto 3. S.Cook 4. S.Crawford 5. R.Mountain 6. J.Carr 7. R.Lumsden 8. A.Sione
16. A.Doig 17. A.Sutherland 18. D.Campbell
Report: Stuart Crawford
30/10/10 Shire Can't Raise Their Game Against Impressive Berwick
Aberdeenshire 1st XV 10-36 Berwick
Shire welcomed second placed Berwick RFC to Woodside for a match that, if they won, would put them right back into the hunt for promotion.
With Shire unbeaten at home so far this season confidence was high despite missing skipper John Mason due to injury. As is standard when Craig Livingston is wearing the captain's armband, Shire lost the toss and found themselves kicking off away from the clubhouse.
Berwick were first to strike and after a few missed tackles the ball was shipped wide for the left winger to evade two more defenders and canter over the try line. Berwick doubled their lead shortly after with a powerful drive over the line by their no.8. With Shire's defence creaking with every Berwick attack, it was looking as if it could be a long afternoon.
In between giving away stupid penalties and greeting at the ref, Shire did manage to string together some phases which resulted in happy Api Sione, playing in the new role of inside centre, barging his way over the try line. However instead of building on this, Shire persisted on questioning the referee at every opportunity.
This resulted in Livingston and the Berwick captain being pulled over by the referee for talking to. Whilst the Berwick captain was asked to be patient, Livingston was asked to go and tell his team of 5-year-olds to grow up and try and play the game. Despite the warning Shire almost immediately conceded another penalty which eventually resulted in a further Berwick try.
With the first half coming to an end, Shire found themselves on the front foot and knocking on the Berwick try line. With the last play of the half Shire were once more penalised this time for engaging too early into the scrum. If this was correct or not, it made no difference as the referee had made up his mind. The energy wasted throwing toys around afterwards was pointless.
With some stern words from the coaching staff at half time and the knowledge that when Shire actually applied themselves they were causing Berwick problems, the team came out pumped-up for battle. However the second half got off to the worst possible start, a knock-on from the KO resulted in a scrum and from there a further try for Berwick (a dubious forward pass was missed in the build-up).
Despite the loss of an early try Shire continued to plug away and found themselves time after time in the Berwick half but due to silly mistakes possession and territory would be lost. Berwick scored a further two tries, I think. Shire responded through Api Sione who scored his second of the game.
Berwick ran out deserved winners by a score of 36-10. Had Shire's defence and discipline been better the game would have been a closer affair as when the team applied their energies in the correct manner they more than held their own. A disappointing day for all involved, lots to work on but there is no need to panic one bad day at the office does not make us a bad team.
Squad: 15. G.Cunningham 14. P.Harrow 13. K.Penman 12. A.Sione 11. J.Stephen 10. M.White 9. D.Roberts
1. B.Henderson 2. S.Mountain 3. S.Cook 4. D.Campbell 5. R.Mountain 6. C.Livingston 7. R.Lumsden 8. K.Gilmartin
16. A.Diog 17. L.Emslie 18. S.Smith
Tries: Sione 2
Report: Craig Livingston