Gordonian's Clinch Title
Gordonian's run close by Caithness in title contest
by Daryl Neill
On a frustratingly moist afternoon Gordonians looked to secure the league title with 2 games to spare and make their long-awaited return to the national leagues after coming agonisingly close the last couple of seasons with the winning team requiring a near faultless campaign.
The home side started well, after a bit of kick tennis, were awarded a penalty as the away side strayed offside. Crawford drilled the ball deep into the opposition 22 giving the piggys good position to set up a strong maul which allowing Krusty Simpson to scamper over from close range. Crawford added the extras 7-0 to Gordonians. This seemed to spring Caithness into life and with some strong ball carrying resulting in the home side conceding a penalty to close the gap to only 4 points. Gordonians, not to be outdone, were back on the offensive but due to the slippery conditions knocked on for the first scrum of the day. The resulting scrum did not go well for the home side as the Caithness pack had superior ballast with the ‘big bois’ choosing not to let the boys play, keeping the ball in the scrum and winning a penalty. Kicking to the corner the away side were dangerously close to the home sides line making good yards from a driving maul which was illegally brought to the deck. Continued pressure from the big bois and consecutive penalties in the red zone resulted Gordonians going down to 14 with the number 6 rewarded a 10 minute rest on the side line. Caithness attacked again and this time manged to get over taking the lead for the first time but missing the conversion, 7-8.
The home side were soon back on the offensive but were unable to break through the resolute Caithness defence however did manage to take some consolation with a penalty to go back in front, 10-8. Maybe it was the pressure of the league and the anticipation of the hell skite of peace but simple handling errors began to creep into their game. This in turn played right into the travellers hands with their dominance in the scrum for more penalties and easy yards. However Gordonians were able to hold on and only conceded 3 points before half time giving the North men the lead at the break 10-11.
The second half began much the same as the first hand ended with the home side making some good yards only to be outdone by uncharacteristic handling errors. This allowed the Caithness pack to do what they did best and put Gordonians under pressure in the scrum and the couple of times the home side did get the upper hand the ref assumed it was done illegally resulting in another penalty.
It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Gordonians finally managed to string enough error free phases together and after battering the Caithness line for a couple of minutes Emmet fed Mark Marchbank near the touch line and he dived over for the home side to finally get back in front, much to the delight of the home crowd! With the conversion missed the lead was only 4 points, Gordonians had been here before and did not want a repeat of the agonising semi-final defeat the previous week. Luckily it was not to be the visitors day and Gordonians managed to get down into the opponents half and win a penalty in what ended up being the final play of the game with Crawford bringing the score to 18-11 and more importantly Promotion to the national leagues! JOB DONE!
Aberdeen Asset Management Man of the Match went to Chris ‘Krusty’ Simpson