Friday night floodlit rugby at Woodend
By Ray Hall
Strathmore 2's worthy victors
Friday night floodlit rugby came to Woodend last night with a visit from Forfar-based Strathmore 2's.
Thanks to players helping out from Mackie RFC (3) and Dyce RFC (5) a 20-man "Deeside" squad turned out to play.
Before KO a 1-minute silence was observed in memory of former Dyce player Paul Holder who sadly took his own life earlier this week.
Strathmore kicked-off and were quickly on the attack and after a period of sustained pressure they scored their first try three minutes in.
During this first phase of Strathmore pressure, Dyce player Graeme Lowe came off with a blood injury later confirmed as a broken nose forcing the home side into an early substitution and changes to the forward pack.
Deeside tried in vain to get on the front-foot due to keen defence and turnovers from the visitors. Strathmore turned their possession and pressure into points again with another try with nine minutes on the clock.
Deeside bounced back and spent a period of time in the opposition half. A Deeside lineout 5 metres from the Strathmore line was won and the ball shipped through the backs to try and score on the opposite wing. But the ball was eventually spilled and the visitors were able to clear from the resulting scrum. Deeside kept up the pressure though and got their reward after eighteen minutes with a try from Declan Coutts after good interplay between forwards and backs.
The restart was collected by Finlay Hall who made good ground before being brought down and with the tackler failing to release Deeside were back on the front foot with a penalty that was kicked to give the home side a lineout 10 metres out. Strathmore stood strong though and were next on the score sheet with a try on 25 minutes.
On the 28 minute mark, Dyce player Callum Robertson came off injured with a suspected broken finger - "just tape it" - we did but it's difficult to catch, pass and tackle with a broken pinky so another forced substitution.
Strathmore continued to use their big ball-carrying forwards to good effect and had their next try on the 32 minutes mark through a number 8 pick up and drive off the back of a scrum close to the Deeside line.
The home side came back with a try of their own after Michael Fawcett managed to break some tackles down the left side of the field and find support through Keith Nicol who then managed to recycle the ball to continue the attack down the left with Finlay Hall eventually getting over to score. Rhys Barker stepped up to slot the conversion.
HT score 12-20
Deeside used half-time to get the remaining substitutions made to ensure everyone got game time.
Whilst the home team fought hard to get back into the game and had several periods where they threatened, it wasn't to be and Strathmore managed to score three un-answered tries (one converted) in the second half to take the final score to 12-37.
Thanks to both sets of players and the referee for an entertaining and enjoyable game played in a great spirit. And thanks to all the volunteers who helped and have helped throughout the season.