Sunday 2nd October
Stewartry RFC v Ardrossan Accies RFC
Ardrossan U16 boys travelled to Stewartry RFC today, on a perfect, crisp autumn day. Unfortunately, yet again, we were short of a full squad, and although Lennon travelled to support, and Derek Phillips hoped he might play coming back from an injury – the warmup proved beyond doubt he needs to wait yet! – a poor turnout of 10 became 9. With only a few making contact with genuine excuses of holidays and school trips, a quick countback showed this agegroup has a pool of 25 players! Still, we were 9, the sun was shining, and the game was on!
Ardrossan were bolstered in the first half by a Stewartry prop, which allowed 5 man contested scrums, which Accies were struggling with the whole game. Work to do on body position, and keeping on the pressure until the ball is away. An expansive running game ensued, both teams enjoying the extra space wide, Stewartry again taking the upper hand, with strong running, and clever hands saw the home team seeming to score at will. The visitors had phases of play going tantalising close on three occasions, with big Craig, Patrick and Owen carrying hard. Distribution was shakey first half, but credit to Dillon trying at scrum half, such was the Accies personnel troubles. Ardrossan just lacked the quick support and hard running of the more physical host team. It was therefore all over before halftime, with Stewartry more than ten tries up. Great credit goes to the character of this young Ardrossan team, who decided not to take Stewartry’s offer of mixing up the teams, choosing instead to borrow a couple more to make for a 13 a side game in the second half. What happened next was an astonishing blast of power and co-ordination through phases of driving play, and fast sure handling saw the boys score a superb consolation try…with the three Stewartry loan players watching unused from the far wing! Great effort, and shows that at times, with courage and a bit of luck, this team can score, and play good rugby to boot! A wee bit of self belief, guys!
The rest of the game saw a bit of a rout by the hosts, although all in an Accies jersey tried hard, including the borrowed players, Stewartry were just too organised, too eager to take any scraps on offer, and well drilled.
Our boys should look no further, if ever an example of playing hard, playing fair, respectful and gracious hosts and winners was needed, it was plainly evident at Stewartry. Big thanks to them for their warm welcome, the good spirited game, and the pie and beans afterward!! See you soon at Ardrossan!
So, it’s back to the training paddock, boys, get your missing players down, work hard on your skills, and results WILL come. It was always going to be tough today, but with such small numbers willing to travel, it was just too big a task.
Stick at it, lads, you have so much potential, and courage. Be proud of your efforts, but be determined to move on and improve.
Sunday 25th September
Kilmarnock RFC v Ardrossan Accies RFC
Ardrossan U16s travelled this weekend to Kilmarnock for their scheduled league fixture, sadly only 12 players made the trip, which meant the game could only be played as a development match. Kilmarnock boosted the numbers with an extra player to make for a 13 a side game, played in surprisingly good conditions, with no rain and a varying breeze. The pitch and ball therefore were dry, and an expansive passing and running game was in prospect. Ardrossan lined up with a strong team, and real pace and skill in the backs. Unfortunately, several promising runs were turned over in the ruck by Killie’s bigger and more eager counter. The scoreboard kept ticking over in favour of the hosts, with only the odd consolation for the Accies, whose inability to convert territory and possession into points was frustrating for the players and support alike.
Set piece was thrown into disarray, due to regulars being absent, but well done to Jonathan for his efforts jumping, with Greg and Craig lifting. Kilmarnock’s hooker, flying round from the front of the lineout and rattling the Accies scrum half was paid back, when our own hooker Owen did the same to their ball carrier, winning an excellent turnover. There were brave efforts from all players, but these were individual efforts, not cohesive as a team to create genuine threats in defence or attack. The game was played in good spirit however, and the Accies were unlucky indeed on the scoreboard, with the game very efficiently managed by a young lady referee, who had at one stage to show successive yellow cards to Kilmarnock players, one for a tip tackle, and one for rolling around “football-style”, a commendable refereeing performance.
As mentioned previously, for outstanding discipline, superb effort and workrate, and excellent personal skills including a top drawer lineout throwing display, the Coaches’ Man of the Match has to go to Owen Phillips. Owen set the bar high, and if the whole team continue to work hard and perhaps play more as a team rather than individuals, the results will come. Well done every one on the day, and thanks to Killie for the game, the players, and the fantastic home made soup!
Sunday 18th September
Ardrossan Accies RFC V Bishopton/Garnock RFC
Full time score: 5-50
Ardrossan U16s hosted visitors from Bishopton/Garnock today at Memorial Field, in at times very wet conditions. The match, although a bit one sided on the scoreboard, with the visitors comfortable winners, saw our Ardrossan boys dig deep at times, and for long spells there was little between the teams. The wet conditions and slippery ball meant inevitably lots of spilled ball, and more scrums than either pack could ever wish for. Bishopton were the stronger pack, but Accies had some fine hooking from Craig Macmaster, won all their own ball, and it was sharply delivered by the scrum half. Brave ball carrying and frantic bodies-on-the-line rucking saw Ardrossan with spells of continuity, sadly their pacey wingers were starved of many opportunities to have a run. Bishopton set their stall out early, with strength across their squad. They played with organisation from the first, showing good handling skills and support, and only some heroic tackling saved Accies from a complete route.
Accies best spell of play came after the half, and some fantastic interlinking play and furious determined counter rucking saw Robbie Graham score Ardrossan’s only try.
Final score a convincing 50-5 to the visitors.
Some very positive chat after the whistle saw a determined group listening to Peter Campbell, stand in coach, and resolving to use the experience to push them to train harder, and work on their skills and organisation. Everyone tried their hardest today, no question, but perhaps working more as a team, and focusing on basic skills of tackle, ruck, ball presentation and pass/catch individually, will see immediate results.
Great effort from all involved, boys!