Oh brother – Mackie FP squeeze past battling Banff to win again

Mackie FP v Banff family ties: Ross Hartley, Greg Hartley, Kyle Mair, Colin Mair, Mikey Mair, Ross Gray and Calum Gray
Mackie FP v Banff family ties: Ross Hartley, Greg Hartley, Kyle Mair, Colin Mair, Mikey Mair, Ross Gray and Calum Gray

It was a real family affair at Redcloak last Saturday, with the Hartleys, Mairs and Grays all part of the Mackie squad to face Banff.

On a cold, damp Saturday afternoon, Mackie and Banff arrived on a high, having had excellent, if surprising, results last time out.

It was Mackie who started better with strong running and good hands leading to two tries, one from Greg Hartley and the other from Andy MacArthur, the move having started in their own half. Kyle Mair converted the first try with an excellent kick.

With the score now 12-0, the Mackie support were looking for the floodgates to open.

Banff, however, are made of sterner stuff, and a breakaway try under the posts brought the score to 12-7.

Mackie weren’t going to lie down and immediately collected the restart for Ross Hartley to gather the ball and waltz over for a try which Kyle Mair couldn’t convert.

This brought the half-time whistle with the score 17-7.

Not for the first time this season, Mackie went to sleep at the beginning of the second half and were soon behind for the first time in the game.

Two tries, one another breakaway, followed by a slip from a home defender, and suddenly the score was 17-21 and the game was on.

As time wore on, Mackie were getting increasingly anxious and play became scrappy with a number of decisions going against the boys in red.

However, with 10 minutes or so to go, and Mackie still pointless in the second period, a good handling movement, going through numerous Mackie hands, allowed Robbie Crichton to get his name on the scoresheet. Ross Gray managed to add the extras.

This brought the score up to 24-21 and gave Mackie a try bonus point.

Mackie were able to see out the remaining few minutes quite comfortably, and it was a relieved squad who celebrated in the usual way at the end of the game.

Mackie, as quite often this season, played very well in various spells of the game, but once again they couldn’t maintain the same high standard for a full 80 minutes.

Mackie squad: 1 Lewis Moir, 2 Finlay Stewart, 3 James Sadio, 4 Matt Foster, 5 Dean Gerrard, 6 Greg Hartley, 7 Chris Ballantyne, 8 Iwan Kelly, 9 Kyle Mair, 10 Ross Gray (capt), 11 Lyle Venters, 12 Stuart Hamilton, 13 Andy MacArthur, 14 Ross Hartley, 15 Mikey Mair, 16 Rich Leadbetter, 17 Colin Mair, 18 Stuart Harrington, 19 Fergus Inglis, 20 Cameron Gray, 21 Robbie Crighton.

There is no game this Saturday and Mackie’s next fixture will be on November 23 against Ross Sutherland in Invergordon.

Under-age results at the weekend were: Mackie U13 11 Ellon U13 24; Mackie U14 28 Ellon U14 19; Mackie U15 60 Ellon U15 7; Mackie U16 52 Ellon U16 10; Mackie U18 10 Ellon U18 12.