Caledonia One: Ellon beat battling Wanderers in enthralling encounter

Ellon  38(24) 

Aberdeen Wanderers  31(12) 

Ellon now sit second in the league table after an entertaining bonus point victory against a resilent Aberdeen Wanderers side.

The sides shared ten tries between them as Wanderers fought their way back into a game which the hosts looked to have tied up by the 50th minute after James Hainshaw crossed for their fifth try.

That score had made it 38-12, though within 20 minutes the visitors were back in the fight, assisted by two Scott Byers tries in quick succession.

Scores both sides of half-time prove crucial

Ellon were first to break the deadlock through a straightforward Caleb Jack penalty, but this was quickly followed by a Fraser Christie try which gave Wanderers the lead.

The centre latched onto an Ed Vickers pass at an angle and with pace to score beneath the posts.

The lead then swapped hands twice before the Meadows outfit started to pull away towards the end of the first half.

First Fraser Chalk crossed the whitewash, but this was cancelled out by a Sammy Alkhalof score in the corner.

However, it wasn’t long until Ellon regained the lead in style when Douglas Sharp picked a hole in a disorganised Wanderers defence to cross the whitewash. Jack doing well to add the extras from a tight angle.

Bradley Fraser then added another for the hosts, scoring off the back of a scrum to give Ellon a 24-12 lead at half-time.

Indeed, the Maroons and Golds also started the second half strongly when Angus Craig crossed to increase their lead after a fine piece of interplay with Mark Galloway.

The second rower made a powerful run through a disorganised Wanderers defence to score and Hainshaw’s try followed soon after from the back of another strong scrummage.

This would, however, be the last time Ellon found the try line as Wanderers regained some much-needed confidence when captain Carwyn Walker crossed after the hosts’ Douglas Sharp was sent to the bin.

It was then Byers who skilfully kicked through and gathered his own kick to score in the corner, before scoring an almost identical try minutes later to take his side to within seven points of the hosts.

This set up an exciting last ten minutes, but Ellon held their nerve to win a match which provided the gathering of supporters with plenty of entertainment on a windswept day at the Meadows.

This victory meant they overtook Dunfermline after the Fifers were defeated by runaway leaders, Orkney. The arduous journey to relegation strugglers Alloa is next up for the Maroons and Golds who will look to build on this performance.

Meanwhile, Wanderers managed to gain two bonus points from an encouraging display and will be confident they can bounce back against Glenrothes next week.

Ellon Head Coach, Craig Parslow: 

“We put a very young team out and at one point our back line was basically made up of 17-year-olds. It was a gutsy performance against a big outfit, but we did slack of slightly towards the end of the second half. We were a little naïve at times, but I’m really pleased with how the guys have been performing.”

Aberdeen Wanderers Director of Rugby, Russell Arthur: 

“We paid for that fallow period after half time, but I thought we played well in the opening stages. You can’t deny that comeback and I said during the week that Ellon would be a really tough place to travel to. I thought it was a spirited performance from the guys.”

Ellon: Shirron, Notton, Jack, Campbell, Chalk, Gray, Hamilton; Whyte, O’Brien, Galloway, Craig, Hainshaw, Brown, Rodger, Fraser

Replacements; Sharp, Aitken, Bridgeford, Fitzgerald

Aberdeen Wanderers: Webster, Alkhalaf, Christie, Scott, Buyers, Vickers, Fox; Barnes, Alexander, Strachan, Coull, Lawson, Liddle, Smith, Walker (c)

Replacements: Parkes, Knight, Dugan, Smith

Yellow Card: Douglas Sharp (Ellon)

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