Under 18 - Report
Ellon U18 loose out in the National Bowl Semi Final Away to Hamilton, 36 12
Ellon RFC U18's went down to a disappointing defeat away at Hamilton after a sluggish start gave them too much to do in a second half fight back.
Ellon went behind inside three minutes when a scrum on the Ellon five metre line led to a forward driving over in the corner. The try was brilliantly converted from the touch line.
Ellon were under constant pressure and repelled a series of Hamilton attacks with some very good defence. However the pressure told after twenty eight minutes when good play from the impressive centres created an overlap for the winger to score in the corner.
Ellon looked to hold on until half time but Hamilton's confidence was growing and they put two more scores on the board to go in at half-time 26 points up.
After a stern half time team talk, the second half was an altogether different story with Ellon having the bulk of the possession and territory but failing to score. Three times they were held up over the line by a dogged Hamilton defence. The game was all but over midway through the half with two Hamilton tries in a five minute period. The first came from a quick tap penalty that caught the Ellon defence napping and the second came from a line out and forwards drive that put the home side into a 36 point lead.
With the chance of victory long gone Ellon finally started to play some rugby. A scrum on the Hamilton five metre line led to Captain and Ellon's Man of the Match Jamie Gillan driving for the line and slipping a pass in the tackle to winger Liam Cousins to drive over. Two minutes later the winger got his second try. From a line out deep inside their own half scrum half Ben Shirron passed to Cousins on the blind side. He set off down the touch line side stepping two attempted tackles. With just the fullback to beat he stepped inside and just avoided a tap tackle to score under the posts. Shirron converted and the team looked to get back on the attack. Time was against them and the final whistle blew with the scoreboard reading Hamilton 36 - Ellon 12.
If Ellon had started the game the way they finished it the score line might have been different.
Coach Gareth Kemp said “That was on of the slowest starts of the season and a little disappointing, if I am honest.” “I know the team was heavily effected by players illness and work commitments, but we should have performed much better in the first half.” “Having said that, the first half defence was very good for a twenty minute period of constant pressure.” “ Second half was a different story and we had some great pressure, but their line defence was excellent with three tries stopped by being held up.” “It was great to see Liam Cousins back on the score sheet with his brace.” “His second was an outstanding pass blind from Ben Shirron and some great skill by Liam to run ¾ of the pitch and side step three defenders to score under the posts.” “Over all a great National Cup run and a great experience and learning curve for the lads!”. “Two Champions League games to go now, before a well deserved rest!”