St. Mary's U11s v Merchiston As
Wednesday 20th January 2016
St Mary’s U11 “A”s entertained their visitors for the third time this season on a cold yet dry, still day.
On a soft pitch the opening minutes were even as both teams probed each other’s defences to find an opening. However, both teams tackled well keeping each other at bay with play taking part largely around midfield.
Then in 5 minutes, St Mary’s pushed forward in open play outside the Merchiston ’22 and from a long Otto pass to the right Will stormed up the touchline to score the opening try. 1-0.
The pace and intensity of play was picking up with St Mary’s enjoying a lot of good possession. The ruck was well contested, but with St Mary’s just having the edge thanks to the close support of the ball carrier after the tackle, most notably from Ollie, William, Otto and Mac.
St Mary’s were now starting to get on top which was reflected in field position. In 10 minutes St Mary’s took play up field into the visitors 22’ and from the ruck ball went to the short side to Will who ran in unopposed to score 2-0.
Merchiston responded with determination and took play up to the home ’22 from the restart, but St Mary’s turned ball over from the ruck and fed out to Will, last man out wide on the left, who took off and outstripped the desperately covering defence to score. This was St. Mary’s third try and the third one for Will.
To their credit, Merchiston tried to lift their game to attempt to close the gap. However, St. Mary’s tackled well at this period with Dicken, Jamie, Ollie and in reality all of the boys defending with grit to repel any attack. St. Mary’s also had their moments and came close on a few occasions to stretch the lead with Matt running well when the ball came out wide. Caelan got ball away well from the base of both ruck and scrum to his outside backs.
Then on the stroke of half time, good driving play by Jamie, William and Mac took play to the’22 and from the ruck the ball went wide to Will who again made his teams good play count by scoring a fourth try. 4-0. Halftime.
St. Mary’s started the 2nd half knowing the first 5 minutes were crucial and to be ready to start on the front foot. Both teams drove at each other and yet both teams held firm as they strove to get that important first try. Mac made space for Matt who ran well but good cover prevented further damage to them. A good drive and pop up pass by William to Jamie almost got him in.
Then halfway through the half it was another St. Mary’s surge with Jamie, Ollie, Mac and Caelan to the fore. Following the ruck another long Otto wide pass to Will gave him the space to run in from halfway with blistering pace to score one more! 5-0.
Within a minute however, Merchiston broke deep into St Mary’s territory, from the ruck moved ball wide with very good hands to score in the corner.
St. Mary’s picked up the intensity again both with ball in hand and tackling. Jamie had some good determined runs during these moments, play was then taken up to Merchiston’s line but they held out. However from the scrum 5, Jamie drove over as ball went wide to make the score 6-1.
For the remainder of the match St. Mary’s dominated but just couldn’t quite finish off some scoring opportunities. Partly through some good defence by Merchiston, or by St. Mary’s not making use of the man beside them such was their determination to score. However, on time up there was still time left for a good final piece of team play by the home side to get the ball out wide to “that man again” who obliged by scoring a remarkable sixth try to round off with a great display of pace running to finish off some excellent team lead play.
Well done to both teams who tried their best on a soft pitch in an honest and good spirited game.
Mr A Rutherford, 22/01/2016