Rugby Season kicks off in style at Ardrossan Accies
The 2017/18 season for Mini and Micro rugby players kicked off with a 3 team fixture at Ardrosan Academicals memorial field ground on Sunday 27th August. Local clubs and good friends Irvine and Greenock RFC came along for a first hit-out of the season in the warm, sunny conditions.
With 140 children playing, 30 volunteer coaches and scores of parents, Ardossan was busy place. Training has been underway for several weeks, not to mention the rugby summer camps held in the school holidays therefore the skill levels and pace of the games was remarkably high. All three clubs were brave and committed in their tackling and tireless in their running. Some of the tactical skills on display were also first class, demonstrating the hard work and commitment shown in training sessions.
The Accies Micros (P1-P3) divided into two squads, with the more experienced team playing Greenock and battling to a hard won draw thanks to some wonderful teamwork and supportive play. The star of the day was the irrepressible Logan Gallacher who ran a record breaking 7 tries. The younger Accies played a mixed Irvine/Greenock squad and had tremendous fun on their way to a close win in what was for many children their first ever rugby match. Kara Peesapati was the star of the day thanks to a wonderfully energetic performance.
The P4 team played two fixtures, initially coming up short against Irvine despite the best efforts of Star of the day Rory Gallacher. However, after a quick rally round they went on to produce a stunning display of committed, energetic rugby and beat Greenock in the second match. Calan Tyler stood out as star of the second match thanks to his defensive efforts.
P5 produced some very crisp, efficient rugby with neat passes, clever use of the open space and a devilish eye for the try line. In addition their defensive work was sound, much to the coaching teams delight. Despite some valiant efforts by both Greenock and Irvine, the Accies won both matches. Joshua Bleakely was a force of nature in the first match, netting the star of the day award whilst Stewart Johnstone’s electric pace in the second match saw him scoop several tries and the star of the day award.
P6 Started their first game against Greenock with a bang, by running hard, fast and elusive lines. They were quickly in the lead by several tries when Greenock mounted and excellent fight back, raising their communication and strategic play. Nonetheless the Accies won well with Calum Davis’ ability to pounce on any loose ball and turn into a try netting him star of the day. The second match against Irvine was a tougher affair with the visitors going 3 tries to 1 up within a few minutes thanks to strong carrying. However, after the half time break the Accies managed to revert to their faster, wider game style and ended with a win. Ronnie Robertson put in a great shift and was duly awarded star of the day.
P7 enjoyed a good day in the office with a strong performance and a good win against Irvine. Again they targeted the wide open spaces and used their passing and running skills to keep the tries coming. Evie Ruine had a fine game netting her the star of the day. The second match against Greenock had a completely different feel with the visitors taking the lead quickly and maintaining it until close to the final whistle. The Accies eventually managed to grab the game back and win by a single score. Brandon Dekker was the star after a tireless display of counter attacking.
Finally, Greenock and Irvine met for the final match. Greenock managed to push Irvine’s tired legs to the limits and despite their best efforts Irvine lost the match. Like all the games before it, it was played in excellent spirits and with a first class attitude from the players, coaches and supporters of all three clubs. The three clubs meet again in October to continue their triangular fixture.
Accies Graft at Muddy Marr
Ardrossan Accies Micros and Minis enjoyed a mud splattered encounter away to Marr RFC on Sunday 05/02/17. Both clubs produced a huge number of players despite the weather ensuring the kids left field mud-caked and smiling after a set of tough encounters. With Scotland winning a fine match the day before at Murrayfield it’s clear the appetite for Rugby in Ayrshire is booming. Any budding Rugby playing boys and girls are always welcome to come along for a crack at this hugely fulfilling sport.
P1/2 Blue: Drew both games with an excellent showing from Connor O’Moore earning him the star of the game award.
P1/2 Black: Suffered two losses, the second being a narrow one thanks to the efforts of star of the match Euan McKechan.
P3: Had a tough day at the office with a loss to the players from Troon. Harvey Miller was tireless in attack and Defence earning the star of the match.
P4: Lost both their games in a committed, energetic affair full of fast attacking play and some excellent periods of defence. Stars of the matches were Max Walton and Logan O’Moore.
P5: Had to learn a tough lesson in sporting life coming of the back of their victory V Irvine two weeks prior. A hefty defeat in the first game due to sublime rugby played by the Marr team was followed by a narrower loss in the follow up match. Stars of the matches were Ronnie Robertson and James Quinn who, as the picture shows was fearless in tackling his giant opposition.
P6: Played three matches and saw their performances escalate throughout the morning. Their rucking was particularly fast and effective, earning praise from the opposition coaches. The three matches were all lost by close scores. Stars of the matches were the abrasive Lee Hughes and the crafty Calum Sweeny
P7: Produced an excellent pair of performances over two games with strong carrying, committed tackling and application of their growing “rugby brains.” He first game was well won by the Accies and the second narrowly lost. Stars of the matches were big Mark Rout and Ryan Comrie who, to quote the coaches had his best game in an Accies shirt. Well done to all players.
AARFC v Ayr RFC and Stewartry RFC
Sunday 25th September
The Minis and Micros made their way to Ayr RF for an early start on Sunday 24/09/16. Ayr were co-hosting Stewartry RFC to at Mini level to ensure maximum game time for all.
There was a great display of skills and effort from all players against a very large and well drilled Ayr squad.
P1: A draw between both teams
P2: A narrow loss for one squad and narrow win for the other
P3: A close win
P4: Lost the first match V Ayr by 8 tries to 6 and lost the second match 8- 3 in back to back fixtures at a fast pace and high standard.
P5: Narrowly lost first match V Ayr by a try, won the second match
comfortably. A third match V Stewartry saw them turnaround a two try deficit at half time to win by 8-5
P6/7: Lost out to Stewartry in a bruising encounter, followed by a narrow loss to Ayr P6’s first squad and drawing against their second squad with the Accies commitment and standard of play escalating throughout the fixtures.
AARFC @scotstoun mini tournament Friday 23rd September
So…what can we say about Friday night! A squad of 10 young Accies from P4/5 were invited once more to take part in the pre-match tournament at Glasgow Warriors’ Scotstoun stadium. The team powered through the group stages beating Waysiders 4-1, Uddingston 7-1 and then Falkirk 2-1 thanks to a superb team effort. The tackles were brave and effective, the rucking and stealing subliminal and of course the side steps and speedy finishes were outstanding. This effort saw the team through to the final against the winners of the other pool – GHA ( a team, laden with the kids of various Scottish ex-internationals). So at half time of the big Warriors game, in front of 7351 spectators, the team went on to beat GHA 4-2. Crowned champions. Once again it was their combination of skills and attributes and their ability to pull together as a team that resulted in victory, rather than just having a few big lumps that can run over smaller kids.
I’m an extremely proud parent, but even prouder of the 100% effort and complete team performance from all the players. They are truly are a special bunch! Well done Accies.
AARFC Minis and Micros Sunday 11th September 2016
After several weeks of training the Accies Minis and Micros kicked of their first fixture with a three-way tie versus Carrick RFC and Uddingston RFC. The turnout for the Accies was superb: 30 Micros players and almost 50 players from P4-7 making up the minis. The sea of blue jerseys would have been enough to intimidate anybody!
Due to the smaller numbers from both opposition clubs the M+Ms had to group into composite teams. The micros enjoyed two matches against Carrick – wining well both times. There were several Accies v Accies matches in addition to keep the youngsters game skills sharp.
The Minis enjoyed a successful start to their season as well. P4 and P5 combined into two large squads of equal experience and enjoyed their matches against both clubs – winning every game. Whilst the P5 players found things comparatively easy being the older, well experienced members of the squads, it was a delight to see the P4 players rise to the challenge of “tackle” rugby. As ever, the Accies strength is their ability to run into space rather than into the thick of the opposition. Offloads, 2 on 1s and switches proved the undoing of the opposition defence.
The P6 and P7 players combined into two squads, each taking on Carrick and Uddingston. Only one match was lost from the four played, with the P7 players being so dominant that their game time was limited slightly in a sporting attempt to balance the flow of the game. Again, the skill levels and the ability to spot a gap were key factors that led to the Accies winning.
In addition to the on field antics, the work behind the scenes from the growing army of parents was superb. Hosting and feeding almost a hundred players is not an easy task but the combined contribution from the Accies family made it all happen. The next fixture is a home match (Sunday 25th September) versus the giant Ayr RFC with Strathaven also joining the fray t make another three-way tie. The on-field and off-field challenge will be bigger this time, so we’re looking forward to help from all parents and all players.