After what seemed like a long winter break Mackie FP 2nds made the short trip north to Peterhead to resume playing in the Caledonia 4 North East League.
With the league splitting in two before the winter shutdown, Mackie have found themselves in the bottom half despite some fine performances. With five games left in the season Mackie hope to finish at the top of this ‘mini league’ and they needed to get the ball rolling with a win at Peterhead.
A strong team led by Captain Ally Pittendreigh were confident going into the match. The team were bolstered by the late inclusion of a few 1st XV players looking to get match fit due to the cancellation of their game v Aberdeenshire.
A good mix of youth and experience and a strong bench gave the Mackie management plenty of options to mix things up during the game and to work on a few new partnerships on the pitch.
The pitch was deemed playable and the referee soon had the game going. Peterhead where looking to avenge a 63-0 defeat at the hands of the reds at Redcloak and had put together a large squad for the game complete with a big pack, this was a game that was going to be played in the forwards.
Mackie had other ideas and some fine hands from the back of a ruck had David Austin driving over the line for the first score of the game after some fine work by ‘one for the future’ Andrew Reid. The ever reliable boot of hooker Reddish meant Mackie had taken the lead 7-0.
Making a welcome return to the Reds after a stint playing for West of Scotland was scrum half Colin Dawson and soon he was dictating play, spinning the ball left and right and making some crunching tackles. Dawson soon found himself on the score sheet, some great hands from Adam King fed in the scrum half to score under the posts, again Reddish made the points count.
Peterhead finally woke up and were soon hitting the rucks and winning the scrums. An injury to Ryan Brown meant an early change and Alex Thurlow made his way on to the pitch to play his first game for Mackie in over four years. Mackie were in full control of the game and Chris Kay was able to use his pace to break through the Peterhead line with ease, however, some poor decisions by the number 12 meant the Reds were not able to capitalise on their possession.
With half time approaching, James Sadio made his way on to the pitch to replace Jo Robertson, this meant a change in the pack with King moving to play at number 8 with Sadio slotting in to his preferred position in the front row.
The referee blew for half time with Mackie leading 14-0
Second half started and the team had obviously listened to the half time team talk. The intensity and aggression rose with second rows Campbell, and Philps really beginning to take control of the rucks. Kay was soon replaced by Ross Gray and the centre soon added to the score, a succession of quick hands allowed him to score in the corner. Reddish pulled his kick slightly and missed the extra points.
Peterhead where tiring now due to the constant pressure put on by the Mackie Pack and King made the play of the day running a full 40 yards beating four Peterhead defenders to move the reds deep into Peterhead territory managing to retain control of the ball with fine support play from Connor Reid.
The resulting ruck led to the game’s final try with standout player Andrew Reid side stepping his way past three defenders to score under the posts. Reddish slotted home the easy kick.
The game was in its final few minutes and Mackie brought on Beadie to replace ‘fan favourite’ Steven ‘Frankie’ Allen who had played a blinder at fullback. The tiring Reid was replaced by Cammy Gray who slotted in at number 10 and the game ended with Mackie winning 26-0.
A fine performance by Mackie albeit slightly rusty and frantic in places. Next up for the 2’s Garioch 2XV at Redcloak on Saturday.
Mackie Team: Allen, McConachie, Austin, Kay, Brown, Reid, Dawson, Reddish, C.Reid, Gerrard, Campbell, Philp, King, Robertson, Pittendreigh(c) Subs: Moir, Sadio, C.Gray, R.Gray, Ferguson.