Mackie v Wanderers
Mackie S1/S2 Vrs Wanderers S1/S2
A mixed Mackie S1/S2 team kicked off 2015 on Sunday in near perfect conditions with a firm pitch, bright sunshine and not a cloud in the sky.
Both teams were out of the blocks quickly with a try and conversion for Wanderers and a try for Mackie within the first few minutes. After the early points, both teams then fought hard in the middle and after a sustained period of pressure Wanderers got their second try of the game to go into the break Mackie 3 - 7 Wanderers.
At the start of the second period Wanderers quickly ran in another try from the middle of the pitch, and the Mackie support feared this was going to be a long shift for their boys. But after Wanderers failed to convert the kick, Mackie pressed and got their reward with a second try and conversion to keep Wanderers in sight with the score at Mackie 7-10 Wanderers.
Straight from the restart Wanderers had another try but again failed to convert taking it to Mackie 7-13 Wanderers. Following some fierce exchanges and good rucking from both sides, it took a strong run through the middle by Nathan (S2), to give Mackie another try, and with the kick duly converted to valuable points, the whistle went for the end of the second period with the score at Mackie 11-13 Wanderers.
The final period started where the second left off. Tough battling from both sides saw possession exchanged several times, before quick handling got Mackie high up the pitch and into a strong position, More quick handling from left to right took Mackie full across the pitch for another try and conversion. Although both teams were matched try for try Mackie now had their noses in front because of their successful conversions, and when Ethan (S2) intercepted a wayward pass, running in under the posts from his own half, it left Robbie (S2) with his straightest kick of the day which he duly dispatched keeping up the good work.
Although momentum now looked to be with Mackie with the score at Mackie 19-13 Wanderers, Wanderers rallied well and pressed hard, having a strong run towards the line stopped by some dogged tackling by Murray (S1) and Euan (S1) working well together to snub out the breakaway. However Wanderers still had plenty of fight left and got rewarded with another try in the corner. Again the conversion was missed and it left the game finely balanced at Mackie 19-16 Wanderers.
With both teams capable of winning right to the end, it almost went Wanderers' way with another strong run on the break needing some last gasp tackling by Mackie. Determined not to give up their lead, the Mackie defence pushed Wanderers back and a good charge and tackle by Jack (S1) set Wanderers back 5m when they were looking to push towards the line. The final moments of the game were played out with Wanderers working across the pitch being held off by Mackie and when the final whistle blew most of the spectators were left wondering who had won this hard fought and well matched game.
But it was Mackie who had come out on top, putting in a real team effort with dogged defence, quick handling, strong running and consistent kicking all contributing to this tough win. The perfect start to the year.