Mackie back in action with win

Mackie 34 St Andrews 17

After 12 weeks off because of adverse weather conditions. the Mackie FP RFC 1st XV finally rolled out on a fine sunny day at Redcloak.

Expecting to be a bit ring rusty they knew they would have to be at their best to have any chance against the students who are renowned for their open running rugby.

Play was pretty even for the first 15 minutes although Mackie were dominating the scrums and lineouts and starting to press.

A lineout 5 yards from the St Andrews line worked perfectly and a front peel saw Matthew Flynn go over the line in the corner for an unconverted try.

Another lineout soon after saw the first Mackie drive halted but the pack regrouped and drove relentlessly to the line. Captain Andrew Mitchell dropped over the line for another score which again went unconverted.

With 5 minutes to go to half-time, a move from the training paddock saw stand-off Cammy Murray chip his opposite number. The ball was not gathered and Ross Clyne swooped serenely to take the ball on a delicate run which saw him switch it inside to a supporting Simon Morgan. He in turn was supported by Stuart Lawson who was faced with the opposition full back on the 10 yard line. Before Stuart could decide which way he would sidestep, the full back slipped and he was in the clear and able to touch down under the posts. Andrew Mitchell using new square toed boots duly landed the conversion to make it 17-0.

With time almost up, the students made a late attack and after a period of good recycling they put in a great cross field kick to give their winger an easy score in the corner.

The lapse in concentration by Mackie meant a half time score of 17 – 5.

Mackie sent their three subs on at half-time to freshen the side on a very heavy ground. Almost from the start Raymond Fourie one of the club’s South Africans fielded a kick through and switched blind. His strong run took him through the Students defence and despite being tackled just short of the line his momentum carried him over for yet another unconverted try. Mitchell’s new boots were not proving too successful!

Mackie continued the half in positive fashion and after a few rucks that the students had no answer to the ball was shipped wide to Duncan Ross on the wing for him to scamper in in the corner.

With the game in the bag and the bonus point secured, the crowd settled back to watch some champagne rugby in the closing period. Unfortunately, St Andrews had other thoughts and proceeded to up their game considerably.

They really played some good rugby and scored two tries in the space of 10 minutes to take the score to 27 – 17.

Suddenly they were right back in the game and the result seemed to be in jeopardy. This was aggravated further when in a moment of stupidity, Stuart Byres contrived to get himself sent off. He became the first player to have been sent off in many years for the club.

The side could have folded at that point but to their credit, despite the tired legs and the injuries many were carrying they got the ball into the Students 22 and tested the opposition with a series of driving rucks.

The students stuck to their task and defended their line bravely. The ball was taken wide of one of the rucks by Dan Lane in off his wing – he set off like Road Runner with a limp and spotting a gap dived under the posts to score a really good try and settle the game as a contest.

Stuart Dey, making a welcome return to the side popped over the conversion to leave the final score 34 – 17. Well done to all and we are all looking forward to the trip to Hillfoots next week which will be a tougher task again! Mackie had a young side out on Saturday and it was encouraging to see the likes of Cameron Howard and Rory Mellis settling in to the side so well. Also it was Craig Thompson’s first game of the season after prolonged injury and he lasted the game well and he and his back row compadries Speakman and Flynn dominated the loose play.

Mackie 1st XV: D Ross, D Lane, S Morgan, S Lawson, S Dey, C Murray, R Mellis, R Clyne, A Mitchell, J Sadio, C Howard, S Byres, M Flynn, E Speakman, C Thompson, A King, R McDonald Lewis, R Fourie.