Mackie return to winning ways
Mackie 1st XV travelled to the kingdom of Fife to take on Glenrothes. A couple of poor performances of late and adding the fact that Mackie have never won at Glenrothes made the trip south all the harder.
Playing down the hill with the wind Mackie made a good start, a penalty in 5 mins gave them the first opportunity to get points on the board, up stepped young Callum Reddish who was making his first start in the 1st XV and cooly slotted the kick over 3-0. Playing some good rugby and getting the backs in to the game as often as possible Mackie soon began to dominate the game and captain Thompson soon crashed over for Mackie's first try, Reddish duly converted 10-0 to the visitors. Mackie although playing well squandered at least three good opportunities before winger Cammy Gray was brought down by the Glens fullback – Nick DeLuca style- while chasing a kick through, the ref had little option but go under the posts and award the penalty try which Reddish again converted, 17-0. Glenrothes were not making it easy though and began to string some phases together and a missed tackle saw them cross the whitewash to get their first try of the game which was duly converted. With half time fast approaching Glenrothes again conceded a penalty within kicking range again Reddish stepped forward and converted. Half time 20 – 7 in favour of Mackie.
The second half started with Mackie now playing into a freshening wind and it soon became obvious that Glens were going to put their superior home knowledge in to play. Kicking to their advantage at every opportunity they hemmed the Mackie team in their own half but the visitors stood firm with some awesome defence, but it couldn't last, the jinky Glens centre broke a tackle and was through, conversion missed 20 – 12, again Glens came at Mackie and this time it was the forwards who bundled across, fortunately their kicker had left his boots at home for he missed another much easier conversion this time. The game had now decended in to a battle royal and the Mackie lads were becoming more frustrated with the referee's decisions which appeared to favour the home team at every opportunity. With 15 mins to go, the unthinkable happened Glenrothes scores although they missed the kick they were now leading 22-20. What happened next was possibly the best performance from a Mackie team this season, they picked themselves up and took the game to Glenrothes, Mackie secures ball from the kick off, several phases through the forwards and backs, some tough defence saw the visitors halted at the 5m line but the outcome was never in doubt Mackie wanted this score and were having it, several more phases by the forwards happened before Mackies No8 Steve Akauola crossed to score, unfortunately Reddish missed the kick. The remainder of the game was all about the visitors retaining possession until they could kick the ball out to end the game.
Final score 22 – 25 to Mackie, this was a great team performance by the Mackie boys who were several players down due to injury and work commitments but it showed that there is real strength and depth within the senior squad and with two games remaining there's going to be real competition for places.
Team: D Ross, C Gray, S Morgan, C Dawson, RGray, A Atkins, R Mellis, D Carey, C Reddish, A King, S Byres, R McDonald Lewis, E Johnstone, C Thompson, S Akauola, J Sadio, E Speakman, C Leask.
Next game is Caithness at Redcloak Sat 3rd March 3pm k.o.