1st XV - Report
Strathie pipped at home
Strathmore welcomed Gordonians to Inchmacoble for a very important mid table clash. With both teams on a run of losses neither side were keen to pick up their 3 consecutive defeat.
The 1st half saw neither side really impose themselves in the oppositions 22 until the Gordonians scrumhalf placed a delicate chip deep into the Strathmore 22 which had to be carried over the try line giving the attacking team a scrum 5metres from the line. From the scrum a mix up in the back line defence and a cracking line from the Gordonians 15 gave the visitors the first try of the game, conversion added
Minutes before half time the blacks camped themselves in the opposition 22, with some great pick and goes from the base of the rucks and some barnstorming runs from Captain Stuart Gray really turned the screw on Gordonians who began to leak penalties. From a penalty 5 yards short of the try line Ross made a break for the line but came up short, however, the ball was recycled quickly and Captain Gray crashed over the whitewash, conversion added by Stewart Ross.
The second half started similar to the first with possession for both teams taking place between either sides 22s. The first score of the half eventually come from a sweetly struck drop goal after Gordonians were struggling to break down the Strathmore defence either at the fringes or out wide.
With Gordonians now controlling the game their number 9 again chipped into the corner which was taken into touch by the blacks resulting in a lineout 5 metres from the try line. Gordonians caught at 2 and were able to drive their maul straight over the try line to score a well worked try, conversion added.
The blacks reacted well and with the pack carrying the ball forward and James Kiely’s cutting runs Strathmore again put pressure on the opponents who gave away a number of penalties. Having kicked to the corner Strathmore were able to catch and drive over the try line with Colin Bell touching down, conversion missed.
Gordonians returned to the Strathmore half and with a near carbon copy of their 2nd try, they were able to kick to the corner from a penalty and once again caught and drove over the Strathmore line. Conversion missed.
With time disappearing for the blacks Captain Gray continued to carry the ball forward with some real purpose and Strathmore once again set up camp in the Gordonians 22. Gordonians gave away a penalty just short of their tryline which Ross took quickly, fed to Bell who crashed over the line with 3 would be Gordonians defenders hanging of his back. Good try from the Strathmore number 7 and a great performance as usual.
In the closing 5 minutes Strathmore had opportunities to steal the win but it was not to be their day and looking back were fortunate not to lose a losing point.
MOM – Stuart Gray, one hell of a performance from the Strathmore Captain who lead by example and has set the bar for others to reach. Feedback from the geeky analysis coach was Gray carried the ball 15 times in the first half alone.
”Ask not what Strathmore can do for you — ask what you can do for Strathmore.” - John F. Kennedy – (slightly amended)
TRAINING TUESDAY AND THURSDAY
Report by Stewart Ross