Mighty Boars secure 3rd plplace
By Ray Hall
Deeside maintain league unbeaten home record
Deeside's final league fixture was a home tie against confirmed North league 4 champions Peterhead. The visitors clearly wanted to finish on a high while Deeside wanted to maintain their 100% home record in the league. The game was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of Peterhead stalwart and coach Bill Innes who sadly passed away recently - with the league already won Peterhead had dedicated their league triumph to Bill and Deeside join with all other teams in the league in congratulating Peterhead on their achievement and extending our sympathy to Bill's family and friends.
Peterhead set out their stall from the off with them choosing to pick and go through what looked like a bigger forward pack. Deeside weren't having it though and the home forwards defended well which forced errors from the visitors resulting in the ball being turned over. Deeside chose a more expansive game by getting the ball away from the contact area and on 5 minutes they opened the scoring through a try from Guy Finlayson
that was converted by Scott McNeill.
Peterhead stuck to their game plan of keeping the ball with their forwards and the Deeside pack continued to thwart them and force turnovers. Deeside were awarded a penalty for a high tackle on 17 minutes on their own 10m line and the resulting penalty kick gave them a lineout 18m from the try line. A knock-on resulted in a scrum for the visitors and with the ball called out by the referee Scott McNeill pounced to win it for Deeside forcing the Peterhead scrum-half into a tackle he would rather not have made and not releasing. From the resulting Deeside penalty the home team gave it to their backs again and this time it was Gregg Jack
who crossed the line to score with the conversion taken by Guy Finlayson
Deeside were getting more ball and using it better resulting in most of the game at this stage being played in the Peterhead half. The forwards were working hard to stop the Peterhead pick and go while using the ball well once they had it. On 30 minutes another Deeside attack put Peter Sidgwick
in space and he ran hard to take on the Peterhead full back who he beat in the collision - with the try line beckoning only 10 metres away Peter would surely have scored if the game had not been stopped (and rightly so) for the suspected head injury suffered by the Peterhead full-back.
Soon after Deeside turned over a Peterhead scrum 10 metres out from the try line and Guy Finlayson
went over in the corner for an un-converted try.
Deeside weren't about to take their foot off the gas. Gregg Jack
found space and used his pace and footwork to make good yards before offloading a final pass to Tswai Mweemba for him to score under the posts and provide an easy conversion for Guy Finlayson
But the Deeside team still weren't done. From a scrum 10 metres inside the Deeside half the home side moved the ball well enough to get it to Gregg Jack
for him to score another try that Scott McNeill converted with ease to take the score to 33-0 at half-time.
Deeside rang the changes and all six substitutes came on for the start of the second half. The Deeside scrum that had been strong throughout got even stronger. The pattern of play didn't change much initially and Deeside continued to play most of the game in the opposition's half. Chris Somers
and Guy Finlayson
both thought they had scored tries only to have them disallowed for forward pass and double movement respectively. Eventually the second half deadlock was broken when Peter Sidgwick
finally got on the score sheet with a try on 52 minutes - converted by Guy Finlayson
Deeside pressure continued after the re-start and with Peterhead trying to clear their lines a high tackle by Stephen Bell
resulted in retaliation from a Peterhead player and both were yellow carded on the 60 minutes mark.
The home side thought they could have got a few more points on the board but a couple more forward passes and stout defence by the visitors kept Deeside from scoring again. With legs tiring and players that had come off at half-time suitably rested Deeside decided to use the opportunity to bring players back on.
The final minutes belonged to Peterhead who were determined not to lose to nil and all credit to them for digging deep and getting the final score of the game with a try in the corner that was too wide for them to convert.
Final score 40-5 to Deeside - a bonus point win and our unbeaten home record in the league maintained. Great performances from the whole 21-man squad - it goes to show yet again that if we get the numbers, we get the wins. We have struggled for numbers away from home - only 10 of us at Inverness and only 17 (the most we ever managed) at Dyce with 3 of them coming off injured. If we could have travelled with a squad of 20 to each away game we would have been challenging for the top spot.
Congratulations to Peterhead for winning the league and being presented with the trophy on what must have been an emotional day for them.