It was always going to be difficult to scale the heights of last week’s performance away to Caithness but Mackie 1st XV started the second half of the season looking to do the double over a much improved Gordonians side.
Despite being well prepared there was an edge missing from the home side’s game from the previous week. After 10 minutes, serious pressure by the Mackie scrum brought a penalty which Levack duly converted. The midfield tussle continued with no quarter being given by either side and Gordonians countered with two penalties of their own to make the score 6–3.
With 15 minutes to go to half-time, there was an error by Gordonians which the referee missed and from the resultant play they broke away to score under the posts and with the conversion took the score out to 13–3. Mackie responded with a lineout drive near the opposition line that resulted in Mitchell going over for an unconverted try to make the score 13–8. A final penalty on the stroke of half-time left Gordonians in the ascendency and 16-8 ahead.
The half time team talk brought the players back in to focus and while again Gordonians started brightly and exerting all the pressure, the storm was ridden and slowly Mackie started to impose themselves on the game.
The tide started to turn Mackie’s way and despite conceding a further penalty to go behind by 19-8, the home side settled in to a productive period. Serious pressure on the Gordonian line with a series of forward drives saw Mackie’s Dan Carey glide over the line for a converted try to take the score up to 19–15. After 20 minutes of the second half a well worked drive from a lineout saw the home side drive over the line and eventually the ball was grounded by the Tongan Torpedo, Boom Boom Akauola to put Mackie into a 20–19 lead. The pressure was unrelenting and with 10 minutes to go Carey shimmied over the line for another score which Levack converted to take the score to 27–19.
Gordonians rallied at this point and came back into the game and scored a good try under the posts which they duly converted to take the score to 27–26. Mackie weathered the storm of the last few minutes and managed to close out the game.
And so a nail biting game came to an end with Mackie edging victory over a very worthy opposition. In an interesting footnote, last week in Caithness, all the tries were scored by the backs. In contrast all this week’s tries went to forwards. The club have climbed to fourth in Caledonia 1 and are performing well.