Published on Thu Oct 21 (www.inverurieherald.co.uk)
FOR the second time this year Garioch bounced back from an away defeat the week before, with a good home win on Saturday. By out scoring Ellon 2nd XV by four tries to one, they not only maintained their 100 per cent home record, but also completed their first double, having won away to their local rivals on the first day of the season.
The match started with both sides rather nervously kicking the ball away and conceding too many penalties. Indeed it was a penalty conceded 25 metres out by Garioch that led to Ellon taking the lead after just 6 minutes of play. Soon afterwards it looked like Garioch had opened their account, when after a phase of good attacking play, player / coach Bernard crashed over to the left of the posts. However, the referee had spotted a forward pass early in the move and brought the play back for a scrum. At this point, and not for the only time in the game Ellon’s discipline let them down and they gave the referee some back chat. He immediately reversed his decision, awarding Garioch a penalty in front of the posts. Andy Gowrie stroked the kick over to level the scores at 3-3.
After 21 minutes Ellon had the chance to edge ahead, after being awarded a penalty in a kickable position. They decided not to go for the points but instead over hit the punt, allowing it to go into touch in goal which brought the play back for a Garioch scrum. This was to prove a turning point of the match, as a few minutes later, following efficient work by the forwards to turn the ball over at a ruck; Mitch Craig made a good break down the blind side before feeding young winger Mark Bloice to race away and score the first try of the afternoon. Immediately from the kick off Garioch crossed the whitewash again after a lovely line break by Chris Lawson who slipped the ball inside to Craig, for him to score under the posts. With both conversions safely kicked by the ever dependable Gowrie, Garioch led 17-3 at half time.
After only 8 minutes of the second half Garioch pushed further ahead. Again Ellon were punished with a penalty for back chat to the referee and following a raking touch find, Garioch won good clean line out ball which was quickly moved along the back line to substitute right winger Callum Teale to score with his first touch. With the kick from out wide missed and Garioch now in a 22-3 lead, Ellon rallied and had their best period of the match. This resulted in Garioch giving away a penalty just a few yards from their try line. From the quickly taken tap penalty it looked like the Ellon forward lost the ball forward in the act of touching down, but the try was awarded. With the conversion successful, Ellon were right back in the game at 22-10.
Garioch went immediately back on the attack and won a penalty which Gowrie kicked to restore the lead to more than two scores and remove any pressure. With eight minutes to go the game was wrapped up, as good first phase back play, allowed left winger Teale to confidently beat his opposite number to score his second try of the game and secure the try bonus point.
Joint Men of the Match for Garioch in this 30-10 victory, were Mitch Craig and Marcus Di Rollo. Garioch move back up the table one place into second. They will be looking to put back to back victories together on Saturday, when they make the long ferry trip to Lerwick to play Shetland RFC, who they outclassed in the home fixture back in September.