Mackie Academy FPs 1st XV won their opening match in the newly formed Caledonian League 1 and added two more victories against Gordonians last weekend.
This weekend both the 1st and 2nd XVs were looking to repeat that success against Strathmore and Shetland respectively.
The 2nd XV kicked off early at 12 noon in order to get the ferry home later that afternoon.
In driving rain the first half brought some good possession from the mackie side.
Slippery conditions meant a lot of dropped balls throughout both teams. For Mackie they were getting most joy keeping it in the forwards, playing the conditions well, but in the loose it was Shetland who were making some great ground with only last ditch tackling preventing tries.
It was great play in the forwards that resulted in young Willie Garden crossing for an try, which was converted by his fellow second row Colin Inglis, who as captain had decided to take the reigns without a recognised kicker in the ranks.
In the second half the islanders upped their game and started to stretch the Mackie sides defence and test their mobility around the park.
The execution of some positional kicks and decision making went wrong meaning that the home side couldn’t get a hold of the game and it ended up with a 7-17 loss.
A great effort in their first league game, a loss unfortunately.
However, the team knows where they went wrong and can and will improve for the next game as each player pushes for a place in the first XV.
The first XV went into a physical encounter with Strathmore with a new found confidence following a strong pre-season and a win last week against Gordonians.
The home side started well, showing drive and intensity from the off which has been missing in the past.
They found themselves 5-0 up within minutes after a series of set plays allowed scrum half Rory Mellis to dart over the line.
A conversion by Mike Levack back at fly half ticked the score board on to 7-0 and the visitors were visibly shell shocked at being down to a team that they had beaten comfortably just five months ago.
Unfortunately, Mackie perhaps switched off a bit and two unfortunate errors meant Strathmore scored two fairly easy tries against the run of play for 7-14. Buoyed by this, Strathmore enjoyed their best part of the match and scored another unconverted try for 7-19.
Vice-captain Simon Morgan again proved a catalyst to a revival in mackie’s performance and stayed strong to sbeat his and and score a try underneath the posts which was again converted by Levack.
The second half was all Mackie as they pressed and pressed the visitors line but in the wet and windy conditions couldn’t convert pressure in to points.
Strathmore kicked a penalty and scored a try off a quick tap penalty after a dubious infringement by the mackie back row.
Again Mackie took the game to Strathmore but it was not to be.
The game finished 14-29 and a disappointed Mackie side clapped the visitors off for a great match.
Mackie had several chances throughout the game but poor handling cost us, probably down to the atrocious weather conditions.
On a plus side for both teams and the senior squad as a whole, they are now creating chances and have the belief to beat any team in the league.
All that is needed is now need to be able to finish the chances they are given and maintain discipline in defence.