For their final league game of the season Mackie FP’s 2nd XV entertained Grampian Police. Though technically an away game for Mackie the fixture was switched at the last moment to Redcloak to accommodate the police.
With the Mackie 1st XV pulling off the “great escape” a few weeks earlier on the final day of their season in such rousing fashion against St Andrews it was up to the self proclaimed “Mighty 2’s” to take over the baton and finish the league on high.
With a squad at full strength, the requisite weather on hand and a solid and dry ground beneath the leathered boot the day was made for running rugby. Captain Ben Newell won the toss and elected to kick off.
Straight from the off the boys in red went charging after the ball like a bull terrier after a red fox. It was soon apparent that the Mighty 2’s were determined to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and go for the jugular!
As the forwards piled into the tackle and cleaned out rucks like scavengers the platform was set for the three-quarters to eject from their back line with aplomb showcasing deft skill, swift hands and neat running lines that stretched the Police defense. The forwards would follow with fruitful tenacity.
Mackie notched up their first try within the first minute and this would set the pattern for the rest of the match.
What were evident of this superb display from Mackie were the support lines and the communication between the players. If one man made a break a plethora of men would be on either shoulder. The handling was excellent and Mackie played with speed and precision. At times it would get a bit hectic and led to brief moments of loose play but this was down to the sheer enthusiasm of the team. They would soon settle down again and resort to the continuity coach Colin Mair had drilled into them all season.
Stuart Byers starting for the first time at centre made some crashing runs through the middle in his usual manic running style. Andy Reid controlled the game well from fly half with excellent support from scrum half Adam Hunter. In the forwards Andrew Mitchell ploughed away like a vintage bottle of merlot and Barry Milne rolled back the years to produce a barnstorming performance that bellied his 41 years of age.
Notable other performances included that of Pete Smith and Finlay Stewart both making the senior debuts for Mackie after coming up through the junior and under-18’s ranks. Both put in excellent all round performances and brought a youthful enthusiasm to the field.
The tries ran in at regular intervals with particular stand outs from the returning Jamie McConachie at full back and the bull dozing winger Jo Robertston cascading over the try line for 2 tries.
The most notable aspect of this performance was the “nil”. At half time Mackie led 43-0 and effectively the game was out of reach for the Police but Mackie showed great composure in displaying a performance of controlled rugby and played to the nether end determined not to let the Police cross the whitewash. Mackie never slacked off and kept the legs pumping and the arms swinging with fine passing and eyes hungry for space and ultimately the try line.
Every man played his part in this entertaining match. The most endearing and inspiring fact of the day is at one stage there were 7 plays in the Mackie team aged between 18 and 20 roaming the fields of Redcloak. In the words of coach Colin Mair “the future is bright, the future is Mackie!”
Man of the Match – Barry Milne
Line Up – Reddish, Mitchell, Roberston, Kindness, Newell, Pittendreigh, Milne, Gerrard, Hunter, Reid, Fergurson, Byers, Thompson, McKinnon, McConachie. Subs – Atkins, Smith, Stewart, Beadie, Sadio.
Tries – Kieran Ferguson, Calum Reddish, Andrew Mitchell, Ben Newell, Jamie McConachie x 3, Stuart Byers x 2, Jo Roberston x 2, Adam Hunter x 2, Mark Beadie x 2. Conversions - Calum Reddish x 9, Adam Hunter 1.