Four Seasons in 90minutes
By Leslie Brown
Deeside 8 Mackie 32
The short journey to Banchory along the “Slug Road" held no fears for Mackie after last week’s heroics and, as it turned out, only the foul weather limited the expansiveness of this full blooded encounter. The crowd were treated to torrential rain, gusting winds and, by the end, sunshine, as a perfect backdrop to another stirring Mackie victory.
Playing into the elements in the first half, Mackie started strongly and forced an early try through prop Lewis Moir from close in, only to have Deeside claim a 8 points in reply through a penalty and an overlap try, both through Mackie errors, and we could see we had a game on our hands. An early change was forced through injury, bringing Ewan Johnstone into the fray at flanker and his power and guile created a try under the posts which was converted by Kyle Mair to bring us to the half at 8-12 to the visitors.
With the storm abating and now playing with the wind, Mackie took control of the game in the second half not just in attack but in their now familiar resolute defence, which was well marshalled by skipper for the day David Garden, who lead the line from centre and ensured in turn that the Deeside defence had a tough afternoon.
The Mackie forwards had a good afternoon and were tighter at the lineout and scrum than in recent weeks and gradually imposed themselves on the game ensuring some good ball for Mellis to feed to the backs. More importantly, with only one further enforced change around the half, Mackie had fresh legs to introduce at the hour mark the see out the game against a tiring Deeside. Tries came from flanker Mark Coull, winger Duncan Ross after a clever backs move, and then fullback Kyle Mair and replacement Adam Hunter. None were converted due to the difficult conditions, but Mackie had put in a fine second half performance to emerge victorious by refusing to allow their concentration to be broken.
Among the many fine performances from Mackie players on the day, man of the match goes to Kyle Mair, who was excellent throughout, coping well under the high ball on a squally day, tacking strongly and adding real pace and a good finish in attack. Aberdeen Grammar at home next week. I for one cannot wait!