Mackie P4s win at Crieff

THE winning Mackie P4 team.
THE winning Mackie P4 team.

A scorcher of a weekend and a scorcher of a tournament for Mackie P4s. Their run of victories continued with a hard fought final win against a well-drilled Stewarts Melville team in a Crieff and Strathearn tournament.

This tournament saw Mackie pitched against a host of different teams from further afield in Central Scotland. The games were close but the P4s continued to show great team spirit throughout what were competitive pool matches and an exciting final.

In the pool stages, Mackie were drawn against Glenrothes, Ardvreck and Dundee HSFP. Conditions were perfect for running rugby on a dry but hard pitch. In their first game Mackie ran out comfortable winners against a useful Glenrothes side. Both teams were slow to get into the game but a strong second half performance by Mackie, a feature of their play throughout the tournament, overwhelmed Glenrothes. The final score was 6-3.

Mackie played Ardvreck in game two. This saw a stronger performance against a spirited team who ran them close in the first half. Again some strong tackling and improved continuity of play allowed Mackie to build up an unassailable lead, and the final score was 5-3.

In their third pool game against Dundee, Mackie again started with a rather lacklustre first half. However after Dundee scored early in the second half to square the game at 2-2, Mackie turned on the gas and with characteristic strong running and good passages of passing play ran in a further six unopposed tries to run out eventual winners 8-3. Dundee scored a consolation try with the last play of the match.

The final saw Mackie play a strong Stewarts Melville team who had won their pool equally comfortably. For those watching on the bylines this proved to be a nail biter of a final. Mackie continued their pattern of play with a ponderous, rather error strewn first half. Slack tackling and a couple of wayward passes were punished by Stewarts Melville who quickly took a 2-0 lead. However Mackie never look overawed by their opposition and showed the commitment and grit that has enabled them to remain unbeaten all season.

In the second half Mackie turned their performance up a notch running in three unopposed tries to take a deserved lead. Stewarts Melville then came back with a third try to square the game.

Mackie sneaked in the decisive try in the dying seconds of the match with a slick passing move to win 4-3. A roar of relief from watching parents and coaches and shouts of joy from the players when the final whistle was blown showed the commitment and passion that has taken them to such success this season. To round off an excellent day the winners trophy was presented to the boys by ex-Scotland international Sean Lineen who played at centre 29 times for Scotland and was a member of the notable Scottish grand slam team of 1990.