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Debut win for Turriff Rugby club

By David Porter

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Ellon 2nd XV 10 - Turriff RFC 46

Saturday saw the Turriff RFC men’s team make their Caley 4 league debut against Ellon 2nd XV.

Despite a cloudy day the rain held off and conditions were perfect for a game of exciting rugby.

The game kicked off and Turriff were looking strong from the start, with half backs Andy McDonald and Alan Elphinstone controlling well.

They soon found themselves in the Ellon 22 and a slightly high tackle from an Ellon player resulted in a penalty in front of the posts.

Fraser Geddes stepped up for his first kick of the game and slotted the ball straight through the middle of the posts. From the next kick off Turriff applied pressure to Ellon and once again were rewarded with a penalty in front of the sticks due to an Ellon player not rolling away.

Geddes’ boot was on form again giving Turriff an early lead of 0-6.

With a few stoppages due to injury it was difficult for either team to maintain momentum, however this period did not deter the Turriff side.

The pack were controlling the ball well from the front with the guidance of captain Grant Thomson and soon the backs were able to capitalise when Elphinstone made the gap for speedster Daniel Chisholm to run and put the ball down over the line, which was followed by Geddes with the conversion.

Now starting to find their feet, Turriff were dealing well with the pressure from Ellon and were defending extremely well.

Ellon put a kick over the line and James Nock recovered well, with a storming run breaking numerous tackles and getting near the try line to then offload to Geddes who crashed over for the second.

Now feeling comfortable with his boot he converted again to put Turriff up 0-20 at half time.

After a half time huddle and wise words from the captain and coaches, the teams swapped sides and got set for the next 40 minutes.

Turriff found themselves on the scoreboard again within only minutes after McDonald took the ball from the kick off, stepped the first few and then ran most of the length of the pitch.

An unstructured defence meant quick ball was the option, going through the hands to reach John Hester who straightened well and dodged defenders to dive over the line.

The Turriff backs were flowing well and a sneaky grubber from winger Gareth Dalgliesh put pressure on Ellon who kicked back to Turriff.

The back three - including Euan Crawford and Elliot Bates - were keeping a solid structure and dealt well with the high balls. Some solid runs from the forwards in debutant Jim Smith, Callum Shepherd and Corey Sneddon set a good platform and McDonald was the next to get over the line using his quick feet yet again.

Geddes was just short this time.

Ellon responded well to this try and caught Turriff short out wide after quick phases and a solid run from an Ellon back, however they were unlucky with the conversion.

Strong runners on the Turriff team were proving difficult to be taken down, with number 8 Matt Baron showing his upper body strength to hand off many defenders and then drive over the whitewash.

Not too long after this Elphinstone held the defenders well with a pass to Geddes who saw the gap to offload again to Sneddon - who was more than happy to stick the ball under his jumper and run through the defence for another. Geddes was accurate with both to add four more points to the tally.

Despite some strong runs from David McRitchie, Lloyd Inglis and our other debutant Daniel Bruce, Ellon were the ones to score the final points after their quick ten noticed a gap and hit it well to give his team the final boost.

Again the conversion was just wide, meaning a full time of 10-46 to Turriff.

The club's Isla Jack said: "All from Turriff would like send to thank our supporters who came down to cheer the guys on, to Ellon 2nd’s who were a very tough but welcoming and friendly opponent and to the ref who controlled the game well.

"Looking forward, Turriff will play Caithness away on September 25with a 3pm KO and any supporters who wanted to make the journey up would be very much appreciated!".

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