P4 Ellon Champions 2016
By Andy Cowburn
Mackie P4's romped home with four wins from four to become Ellon champions last weekend
Easter Sunday saw Mackie P4 head north to Ellon for the first end of season tournament. With a few clubs having withdrawn the format was rejigged and we ended up in a round robin league with strong local rivals, Grammar, Garioch, Deeside and the hosts.
First up were Grammar, the boys were reminded to put into practice what they had learnt at training.Despite an hours less sleep the boys started stongly and rushed into a 3_0 half time lead. The intensity dropped slightly in the 2nd half , but in a very good 1st match Mackie prevailed 5_2
Second up were Garioch who had one very strong runner. Mackies defensive line kept their shape offering very little space, and on the few occasions Garioch broke through covering defenders made the tackle. Mackies superior teamwork told and they pulled away to record a 6_2 victory
Next up were Deeside. Any talk of a last match decider was put to one side by the coaches. Deeside were a well organised team and put Mackie to the test. The Reds varied their tap starts using 3 or 4 different runners to cause the opposition headaches as they were faced by power, pace, trickery and hard running. Again Mackie won by 3 scores to set up a decider with the hosts
The boys knew that Ellon run hard from kick offs so the middle 4 defenders were teamed into pairs to combat the threat.The wingers moved up with them and sealed off any space out wide. The first few minutes were exceptional as Ellon threw everything at the Big Red Machine. Mackies defence moved up as one to counter the threat and spaces began to appear out wide as counter rucking provided turnover ball. Mackie struck 3 times before the break to take a potentially decisive lead. The boys were reminded not to ease off and the defensive effort continued to suffocate Ellon, this was best displayed by a Mackie interception try as Ellon tried to pass the ball away from the Red wall. At full time it was another 6_2 victory to the 2016 champions !
A big well done to the guys who passed, tackled, ran, rucked and even listened! This was a victory for the whole P4 squad who keep pushing each other hard in training. Four more tournaments to come so lets keep working hard
Thanks as always to the Parents who provide great support to coaches and players, and to Alistair and Ellon RFC a great tournament with decent weather
And to think we won with only a nine man squad one of whom had only one boot!