Mackie Mammoths and Brechin Bruce came together to form a team on Saturday for the GHA Golden Oldies tournament in Glasgow.
With the sun searing in Glasgow’s skyline, the team faced some excellent opposition such as Dunkeld Ospreys, Kircaldy Zingari, and GHA Gazelles in our draw of games.
First up was Dunkeld Ospreys which showed to be a very physical and well drilled team. The first half was a close fought encounter with one score each. The Mammoths try being scored by Lorenz Nehring despite having a number of Dunkeld players hanging onto him he managed to power over the line. With some substitutions at half time and the mixture of two clubs in Mammoth’s and Bruce’s, we lost our cohesion and Dunkeld managed to sneak in a further two try’s. Final score was 15 - 5.
Next game was Kircaldy Zingari. the Zingari team are extremely competitive and despite the tournament being Golden Oldies it was obvious how serious they were taking this event. Zingari were able to use the ball very well and had many hard runners among their forwards and backs.
The Mammoth’s/Bruce team stood well to match them in all aspects of the game across the pitch, but the real difference for Zingari was the extremely fast and talented young winger playing on their right wing. All three Zingari scores came from this player and the Mammoth’s/Bruce team were left wondering how much closer the game might have been if that one player had not been on the pitch. Final score was 15 - 0.
The third and final game was against hosts GHA Gazelles for a 3rd / 4th place play off as we qualified above other teams who had failed to score in their games. Team captain, Ciaran Dreelan rallied the troops and all players from Mammoths and Bruce went out to give it 100% and their effort on the pitch certainly showed the commitment of all players. The Gazelles having home advantage and availability of so many players really exerted the maximum pressure with a phenomenal physical effort in every phase of play.
A close 1st half saw the scoreline at one try each after John Soloman the 70 year old winger from Bruce managed to get his try which nobody could deny him. Fresh legs in the 2nd half proved too much for a tiring Mammoths/Bruce as the sunshine and exertion of the days took its toll. GHA being able to change direction of play from left to right and vice versa on the pitch finally opened up some gaps in the defense and resulted in two similar try’s being scored in the 2nd half. Final score 15 - 5.
Both Dunkeld and Kircaldy went on to play in the final with Dunkeld a deserving winners of the tournament.