Jolly Boys Hold Out In Victory Over Huntly
By Ciaran Marshall
The 2nd XV secured another bonus point victory but were made to work hard for it after a strong second half comeback from Huntly.
In dry and sunny conditions, the 2nd XV got off to a rapid start against visiting Huntly, with scrum half Simon Orr sniping through a gap and showing his pace to score under the posts barely a miute into the contest. This was followed up with another quick score from Mike Tindal, both efforts converted by Harry Loakman. The Jolly Boys didn't ease the pressure on Huntly, continuing to play the game in Huntly's half, and after a scrum from 5 metres out number 8 Chris Mollison picked and crashed over to extend the lead to 19-0.
As the half wore on, Huntly began to come back into the contest with a long distance breakaway scuppered by a knock-on just short of the Gordonians try-line. However, the Jolly Boys secured the bonus point shortly before half time when with Huntly in possession on their own tryline, Ciaran Marshall snatched an opportunistic try by diving in from the side of the ruck on to the ball after the Huntly 9 had rolled it back into the in-goal area, causing much confusion, anger and bewilderment amongst almost everyone on the pitch bar the referee who duly awarded the try.
Half time: Jolly Boys 24 - 0 Huntly
The Jolly Boys were confident going into the 2nd half though Huntly were an unrecognisable side after half time, and aided by a now strong wind, set about their comeback effort. With Gordonians having decided to stop tackling or defending, Huntly swiftly reduced the deficit to 24-17. The introduction of Evan Davies on the wing for the 2nd XV reaped rewards and he broke free from out wide to score in the corner, which Harry Loakman converted despite the difficult conditions. However more poor defending saw Huntly score twice more from distance to take the score to 31-29. Harry Loakman extended the lead to 36-29 after breaking through the midfield, but with the lead at only 7 points and the Jolly Boys defence far from reliable, it set up a nervous last 5 minutes. Finally, Gordonians started to play something resembling rugby and managed to see out the last few minutes within Huntly's 22, and with a penalty awarded in from of the posts on the last play Conor Hamilton stepped up to secure a 39-29 win and denied Huntly a losing bonus point.
Full time: Jolly Boys 39 - 29 Huntly
After a very mixed performance, the fulltime whistle was a big relief for the 2nd XV though huge credit must be given to Huntly for their second half performance, and the club wishes them all the best for the rest of their season. The result saw the team move to 4th place in Caledonia 3 North thought the chasing teams have games in hand. Aberdeen Standard Investments Man of the Match was scrum half Simon Orr who as welll as scoring his early try was a constant attacking threat.
The Jolly Boys next outing sees them travel to 3rd placed Kinloss Eagles on the 10th of February.