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MUNTLY U15S RUN ENDED IN CALEDONIA SHIELD SEMI-FINAL, DESPITE SECOND HALF RESURGENCE
Wed 14th Mar 2018
Muntly U15s entertained Dundee U15s at Morriston last Sunday in their Caledonia Shield Semi-Final and despite a second half resurgence, were thwarted in their effort to make the final.

Muntly, somewhat uncharacteristically, were slow out of the blocks and ceded both ground and possession almost directly from the kick-off.

Struggling to make ground out of their own 22, in the face of some fierce Dundee tackling, Muntly found themselves on the wrong end of the referee’s whistle far too often after infringing at the breakdown.

Eventually the Dundee pressure told and with a quick tap penalty, the Muntly defence ran out of numbers when the Dundee centre crossed on the left to open the scoring.

A familiar pattern developed for the majority of the half, with Muntly struggling to maintain possession through further infringements or errors, leading to them being consistently on the back-foot.

Despite stout defence from Muntly three-quarters Innes Parkin, Euan Willetts and Scott Cousar, Dundee were causing constant disruption at the breakdown and any precious Muntly possession was short-lived.

Duly Dundee scored once more after their No8 picked up from the base of the scrum to arc in from short range.

Muntly were now in danger of letting the tie get away from them and to their credit they managed to shake themselves from their stupor and remind Dundee that there were 2 teams in the fixture.

Strong running from Skipper Alex Logie and Prop Archie Wilson, allied with some better and quicker ball at the breakdown, saw Muntly make inroads into the Dundee half.

Even when Dundee did turnover possession, Muntly were now applying pressure of their own to force errors and rushed clearances by Dundee.

Two quick-fire quirks of fate sealed the first half for a dominant Dundee; a loose Dundee clearance kick found Muntly full-back Tom Letch who accelerated through a gap to race clear for the line, only for the ball to be dislodged in the act of scoring.

Despite Muntly pressure at the resulting scrum, Dundee managed to clear their lines well and Muntlysoon found themselves defending a 5 metre scrum in their own 22; with the scrum won, the subsequent pass somehow ended up bobbling in the dead ball area and the opportunistic Dundee scrum half nipped in to score.

This double whammy saw Dundee move into a 19-0 lead and despite better Muntly teamwork, they held this until the interval.

Muntly started the second period far brighter. Qquick short balls taken at pace from depth were starting to expose Dundee around the fringes.

With flankers Dylan Price and John Rodwell securing the ball at the breakdown, surging runs by prop second-row Gregor Clark and No 8 Frankie Gillespie along with Logie and Wilson, Muntly found their way deep into the Dundee 22, with Prop Callum Hall on the charge just being help up short, a quick pick-up and dive from Cousar saw Muntly open their account.

Muntly now had the bit firmly between their teeth and were improving in all aspects of the game.

Better defensive line speed saw Dundee become the side more prone to errors and Muntly soon got themselves within one score, when Hall picked up and drove over from short range after constant pressure on the Dundee line.

Dundee then managed to steady their ship and the game became extremely tight, with both sides sensing the opportunity for victory.

Winger Mylo McBain nearly escaped on the right for Muntly whilst on the opposite flank, cover tackles from winger Ross Arnott and Letch kept Dundee from breaking through on the left.

With the match moving well into the final quarter, and having to chase the game, Muntly were keen to keep the ball alive and the gamble of hurry-up play unfortunately did not come-off.

The game was settled with rapid-fire double from Dundee, sparked by a near interception after a quick tap penalty as Muntly attempted to run it out of their own 22.

This allowed Dundee to expose a lack of numbers on the right at the subsequent ruckand they scampered in to extend their lead.

The tactic that had served Muntly so well in previous matches had not quite come off this time.

This was closely followed by a run in on the left after a break down the middle from the Dundee centre saw the ball moved wide, and whilst the Muntly cover got over to make the tackle, greater Dundee numbers in support saw them pick up and run in to put the tie beyond doubt.

Not letting their heads drop, and feeling that Dundee were certainly flattered by the score-line, Muntly were determined to have the last word.

Turning over the ball directly from the re-start, the ball found its way to centre Willetts who neatly chipped and then gathered his own kick to go over in the corner, despite the attention of the Dundee cover.

This proved to be the last action of the match and with Willetts having added 2 conversions the final score was 31 – 19 to a very well drilled Dundee.

Ultimately, it was a slow start in the first half and a few unlucky moments that saw Muntly’s cup run come to an end; whilst being well worth their win, Dundee will reflect that had a couple first–half of incidents not gone their way, they could have been on the opposite end of the score-line.

Muntly will rightly look back on it as a match that they could have won, especially having out-scored the visitors in the second half and been within one score with 10 minutes to go.

Overall, this extremely entertaining fixture, played by 2 well matched and well drilled sides, in the best of spirits was a fine advert for U15 Caledonia rugby and was enjoyed by a substantial crowd.

Muntly will be extremely proud of their cup run and look back upon a series of improving and building performances, both on personal and team levels, and now look to build on them further for the rest of the season.


Muntly U15s: Alex Logie (C), Archie Wilson, Callum Hall, Jai O’Brien, Charlie Anderson, Dylan Price, John Rodwell, Gregor Clark, George Lunn, Euan Willetts, Ross Arnott, Frankie Gillespie, Scott Cousar, Markus McBain, Tom Letch, Innes Parkin, Mylo McBain,Roddy Manson, Lewis Hay, Iain Stuart, Josh Austin, Scott Riach

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Caledonia 2 North

(2017/18 Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
Garioch 17 70
Ellon 18 66
Highland 2nd XV 16 64
Mackie Academy FP 18 63
Moray 18 53
Ross Sutherland 18 50
Ab'deen Gram 2XV 17 39
Shetland 15 19
Deeside 17 14
Stornoway 18 11

Last 1st XV Game

1st XV Season (2017/18)
Ross Sutherland 57 - 17 Moray
12th May 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Naval Grounds

Next 1st XV Game

Caledonia 3 North

(2017/18 2nd XV Results)
TEAM PLD PTS
North Police 18 83
Ab'deenshire 2nd XV 18 74
Kinloss Eagles 18 70
Huntly 19 58
Inverness CD 18 50
Gordonians 2nd Xv 17 49
Peterhead 17 35
Fraserburgh 18 19
Ab'deen Wdrs 2nd Xv 14 18
Moray 2nd XV 18 15
Dyce 18 7

Last 2nd XV Game

2nd XV Season (2017/18)
Inverness CD 48 - 10 Moray 2nd XV
12th May 18 - KO: 15:00
Venue: Canal Park

Next 2nd XV Game


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