Gordonians Triumph on National League Return
By Ryan Morrice
Perthshire RFC 17 - Gordonian RFC 66
After a 5 year absence, Gordonian RFC returned to the national leagues with Perthshire RFC hosting the men from the Granite City in the opening fixture of BT National League Division 3.
Keen to make amends for the slow start against Stewart’s Mellville RFC the previous week, Gordonians came racing out of the blocks taking every opportunity to move the ball about the tight pitch and test Perthshire’s defence. With the ball moving freely it didn’t take long for the first score, Daryll Morrow crossed after just four minutes. From here Gordonians didn’t let up, playing some great rugby to keep Perthshire on the back foot. With conditions firm underfoot players were looking to offload and keep the ball alive. One such pass came from tighthead prop Jamie Christine that can only be described as ‘pure filth’ when he put winger Stewart MacMillian away for a burst down the right wing. After 20 minutes the score was 0-24 with tries coming from Ross Knight, David Ilyine and Sean Mills. Mills added two conversions in what would be a productive day for the fly half.
After a whirlwind opening stanza from Gordonians, Perthshire started to get a foot hold in the game taking advantage of some slack tackling, loose passing and poor discipline, scoring two tries and one conversion. Gordonians tried to respond but, when a certain try was begging, Corey Buchan was held up over the line. There is an unconfirmed rumour that it was one of his own teammates that stopped him as his chat had been truly horrific all afternoon, but never one to let his sparkle dull he went on to have a fine game. With the half coming to a close Tom Williams crossed for another 5 points along with a Mills conversion. The boys from the North East thought it would be enough to see them through to half time, unfortunately this was not the case. From the kick off Perthshire got possession back and went on the attack which broke down after several phases. The referee called it back and gave a penalty against Ross Knight for tripping a player instead of tackling him. Despite explaining that he shouted ‘touch’ and the player fell over, Ross Knight trotted off the pitch to spend the next ten minutes in the sin-bin.
Half-Time score 12-31
Down to 14 for men for the start of second half composure would be key for Gordonians to ride out the yellow card. Sean Mills, never one to understate his confidence, claims he has one of the biggest boots in the league. He duly demonstrated this by firing the kick off clear into touch handing the initiative straight back to Perthshire. From the resulting scrum, the home team worked the ball well to add another try to their tally. Keen to make amends, Gordonians went straight on the offensive resulting in two converted tries to Mills. From this point on the game started to stagnate with neither side being able to string together sufficient phases to make any pressure tell on the scoreboard.
Late call up Andrew Grant, stepping in for the ill (to be confirmed but heavily rumoured to be hungover) Connor McWilliams, along with his fellow substitutes brought some much needed energy to proceedings. With 10 minutes to go Gordonians decided to put the foot down and finish the game with a flourish. With Perthshire falling off tackles Morrow, Mills and Knight all crossed again to score with Mills converting all three taking his personal tally to 36 points for the day.
Full-Time Score 17-66
The Aberdeen Standard Investments man of the match was No.12 Daryll Morrow.
The 1st XV return to Countesswells on the 9th of September to take on Orkney RFC with a 12:30 kick off to suit the visitors travel arrangements. The 2nd XV will get their season underway by making the short trip north to play Peterhead.