Deeside travelled North to Fraserburgh with just a 15-man squad so everyone knew they would have to put a shift in. The Fraserburgh pitch is not the biggest and Deeside found that out the hard way by kicking off straight into touch. However 2 minutes in Deeside launched an attack from a lineout and Calum Hart found a gap in the Fraserburgh defence to open the scoring with Graeme Ainsley converting. Fraserburgh came back strong and on 5 minutes after a period of pressure were awarded a penalty on the Deeside 22 and took the 3 points. The game continued with neither side able to press home the advantage. However on 14 minutes Fraserburgh were again awarded a penalty in almost the same spot and again took the 3 points. Now it was Deeside's turn to apply some pressure of their own until ill discipline and a high tackle by the home team 18 minutes into the game in their own 22 was punished with a penalty try to gift Deeside another 7 points. Fraserburgh came back into the game and kicked a penalty to give themselves a lineout close to the Deeside try line. With lineout won Deeside couldn't stop the forward drive and Fraserburgh claimed the try on 24 minutes but couldn't convert. Fraserburgh pressure continued with the Deeside defence withstanding a number of attacks by the home side and managing to hold the ball up to stop them scoring. Eventually on 35 minutes the pressure was too much and from a lineout the home team scored and converted another try. On 39 minutes Fraserburgh rounded off the half by taking another 3 penalty points from 30 metres out to take the score to 21-14 at half time.
The second half did not start well for Deeside with a series of head injuries forcing players to retire from the field of play - Graeme Ainsley (44 mins), Tom Davidson (46 mins), Tom Andrews (51 mins). Fraserburgh were keen for a bonus point win so wanted the game to go the full 80 minutes so they loaned Deeside a couple of players and play continued. On 55 minutes Fraserburgh scored and converted a try to extend their lead. Deeside weren't finished though and after taking a quick tap penalty Mike Fawcett finished off an expansive attacking move with a try out wide on the right wing - Scott McNeil stepped up and slotted the extras to take the score to 28-21 with 58 minutes played. Two minutes later Fraserburgh were back on the attack and managed to cross for an un-converted bonus point try. Deeside continued to defend with great heart and launch attacks but with three of their own players off injured, remaining players tiring and one man less on the pitch, gaps started to appear allowing Fraserburgh to score a converted try on 75 minutes and a final unconverted try on 77 minutes to take the final score to a flattering 45-21 to the home side.
There is no doubting the endeavour, determination and work ethic of the Deeside squad that travelled to Fraserburgh but this weekend's game again illustrates how hard it is to win games with only 15 on the teamsheet whilst the opposition can field 22. Well done to everyone who turned out - you should be proud of your performances individually and as a team. Next game isn't until 26 January so I suggest we take some time off.
Quilter Kids First Champions winner – November: Hinckley RFC