Mackie U16s showed some true grit to overcome stiff opposition on Sunday, scoring with the last play of the game to emerge 29-27 victors against a very strong Highland side.
Sunday’s game was never going to be easy against last season’s Champions, and the task looked to be an impossible one after some last minute call-offs led to a major re-structuring of the Mackie side.
However it was Mackie who took the initiative from the kick off and took the game to the opposition, showing no fear and securing enough good ball for the Mackie backs to exploit.
Mackie opened the scoring with a well worked try, with forwards and backs linking well in the loose and offloading the ball to good effect, leaving the burly Highland forwards in their wake.
Highland quickly regrouped though and soon crossed the Mackie line to even the scoring. Another two tries by the Highland side saw them into the half time interval 17-7 in front.
Mackie started the second half in a more determined mood and were soon pressing upon the Highland try line, and a extended period of pressure saw the Stonehaven side score from a well worked forwards move, which was duly converted to bring the score back to 17-14.
Highland hit back quickly with a well worked try and it was 22-14 to Highland.
Mackie did not give in though and decided to up their work rate and pull back two tries to take the score to 22–24 with only two minutes remaining on the clock.
Highland had not made the long trek from Inverness to lose however, and reacted quickest after the re-start to exploit some lacklustre Mackie defence. 27-24 to the visitors with seconds remaining.
Mackie rallied one more time and the coup-de-grace came with the final play of the game, when Mackie took a quick tap penalty to catch their opposition by surprise and score in the corner, taking the final score to Mackie 29 Highland 27. A real nail biter of a fixture which was played in tremendous spirit by both sides.