Last Sunday saw the first of this season’s tournaments take place in Ellon on a sunny but coldish day.
The P7’s had tough draw in their section with games against Garioch, Stirling and Highland to overcome if they were to reach the final.
First up were Garioch who played with a limited squad that included a few P6’s. Mackie, however, did not go lightly on them because of this and straight off they thundered in to the Garioch pack won turnover ball that was quickly fed out along the line to the wing to run in a try.
This was immediately followed by another try in copybook fashion and all of a sudden Mackie were 2 up. Garioch rallied slightly but strong Mackie defence meant they got nowhere and once they secured the ball they ran in another 5 tries with no comeback and won the game convincingly 7-0. Stirling were next and proved to be a much harder nut to crack.
Almost in a reversal to the first game Stirling did to Mackie what Mackie did to Garioch and ran in a well worked try down the wing. This seemed to unsettle the team but great scrambled defence and fantastic tackling prevented further tries and once they had weathered the storm they managed to get back in and equalised before edging in front.
Again some awesome tackling in defence prevented any further scores by Stirling and they won 2-1. A big Highland team then came on to the field and Mackie seemed to go to sleep. There was a series of drop balls, poor decisions and simple errors that allowed Highland to stay in the game. At 2-1 to Mackie it was only resilient tackling in defence that prevented the wheels coming off the performance up to now and it was a very relieved Mackie team that walked off the pitch.
Still a win’s a win and Mackie had made the final to play against a Howe of Fife team that had breezed through their section. Mackie marched on to the pitch in a close knit group and set themselves up in a line immediately. This seemed to unsettle Howe and right from the first whistle the Mackie boys (and girl) stormed into the Howe team, knocking bodies over left and right and causing Howe to spill ball after ball which Mackie picked up spun it wide to rattle in 3 tries with no reply.
Howe managed to get one back before Mackie took control again to score one more try to go in 4-1 up at half time. Howe, though were not finished and were not going to go down without a fight and immediately ran in a try to make it 4-2. They then mounted a huge effort to score again but solid defensive work kept them out until the last minute when tired bodies gave in and Howe scored. It was 4-3 but with the last play Mackie controlled the ball until it went dead and the final whistle was blown. This was a terrific win for the team and very well deserved.
It would seem all the hard work they have been putting in over the season is paying off with great teamwork, fantastic fitness levels, sublime skills and a huge desire to win being apparent. Roll on Perthshire this coming Sunday!