Under 18 - Report
LAST MINUTE WIN FOR ELLON 33 31 AGAINST GORDONSTOUN
After two narrow defeats on the road Ellon were back at the Meadows for their first home game of the season against second placed Gordonstoun.
It was Gordonstoun who kicked off into a strong wind which blew the ball back towards the halfway line. Ellon had the put in at the scrum but failed to take advantage. The ball was won by Gordonstoun and they mounted an attack deep into the Ellon 22 which only came to an end with a knock on. The first six minutes of the match were all played in the Ellon half as the Gordonstoun pack looked to dominate at the breakdown. But it was Ellon who got the first score of the game against the run of play. A scrum on the Gordonstoun 10 metre line was picked up by No. 8 Matthew Emmison who broke through the Gordonstoun defence. He offloaded to centre Jamie Gillan who was hauled down just short of the line. Good clearout work from the forwards gave the backs quick ball. Jamie Gillan made a break for the line and timed his pass perfectly to full back, Josh Walker to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but Ellon were in front. The lead lasted barely a minute as Gordonstoun reclaimed the restart after some sloppy Ellon work at the ruck. The Gordonstoun backs showed slick hands to move the ball first to the right and then switched back to the left where they scored in the corner. The try was converted and Gordonstoun had a 7-5 lead with twenty minutes played.
A good move from Ellon almost created a try for Liam Cousins in the corner but he was hauled down just short of the line. A penalty was awarded for holding on and Gordonstoun were able to clear their lines. Ellon fell further behind on 27 minutes when the Gordonstoun backs ran straight and hard off a scrum to break through the Ellon midfield and score to the right of the posts. The try was easily converted to make the score Ellon 5 - Gordonstoun 14.
Gordonstoun were on top of their game and only last ditch tackles from Liam Cousins and Mathew Emmison prevented further scores. Ellon were looking to hold out to half time but conceded with the last play of the half when slick passing from the Gordonstoun backs created an overlap for the winger to score in the corner. The conversion was missed but Ellon went into half time 19 points to 5 down.
The half time team talk must have been of Alex Ferguson proportions because Ellon came out fighting in the second half. A brilliant break from Mathew Emmison and an offload to Ben Trowse saw the winger score under the posts for his first try of the game. The try was converted to bring Ellon back to within seven points. Hopes of a comeback were dampened two minutes later when a mess at an Ellon lineout in their own 22 saw the ball hacked through by a Gordonstoun flanker and he was able to touch the ball down over the line. The score was now Ellon 12 – Gordonstoun 24.
This Ellon team never know when they are beaten and always finish games strongly so the home support’s optimism was raised when good passes from scrum half Ben Shirron and stand-off Stewart Cruikshank found Jamie Gillan running a great line to scythe through the Gordonstoun defence and score under the posts. The try was converted to bring Ellon within five points. And they were level just a few minutes later when a kick over the top was collected by Jamie Gillan to score under the posts for his second try. The conversion put Ellon into the lead for the first time in the match at 26-24.
Gordonstoun were not giving up and pressure on the Ellon line resulted in a forwards try in the corner. The try was brilliantly converted from the touchline to give Gordonstoun a 31-26 lead with just a couple of minutes to play.
Ellon reclaimed the ball from the restart when the fullback allowed the ball to bounce and winger Liam Cousins nipped in to steal it. A series of rucks and drives from Matthew Royce and Connor Silver saw the home side within touching distance of the line. A great offload from Connor Silver found stand-off Stewart Cruikshank in space to cross for an easy try bringing the scores level at 31 each. Ben Shirron held his nerve and with the last kick of the game his conversion gave Ellon a thrilling 33-31 victory.
A great team effort had secured a victory from the jaws of defeat. Man of the Match was Matthew Emmison for his series of breaks and control at the line-out. Captain Jamie Gillan came a close second for his two tries that brought Ellon back into the game.
The result puts Ellon back on track to challenge the leaders in this competitive division. Their next match is away at Grammar on Saturday 6th October at 1300.