Match Report - 20 Mar 2010, Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV beat Aberdeenshire
Ross High 27 v Aberdeenshire 14
This week's visitors to Tranent were League high flyers Aberdeenshire, who are in a top of the table tussle for the championship.
Ross High kicked off up the slope and were soon made aware of the threat posed by the visitor's back division as slick handling took 'Shire into the High 22 where several thrusts were made, all be it ineffectively, on the home line. The pressure told on the home team and a kickable penalty was given away, but, fortunately for the High, it was missed.
This seemed to galvanise Ross and they started to drive up the slope, forcing themselves into the 'Shire 22 thanks to an accurate kick from stand off Dean Jones. From the line out Ross drove to the 'Shire line but were thwarted by a couple of penalties against the visitors for offside at the maul. On each occasion of the penalty award Ross opted for the re-scrum showing the confidence they have in the pack and this reaped just reward when they drove over the line , flanker Steven Henderson touching down. Jones converted.
'Shire Immediately showed the character that has seen them remain in the top two all season by taking the game back to Ross, and from an innoccuous up and under they scored after the ball was fumbled by the High and took the full seven points. They followed this up with several piercing attacks but the home defence remained solid until just on half time, when the ever dangerous 'Shire centre stepped inside a tackle and accelerated through to score. The try was converted. Half time 7 - 14
Ross set out their stall immediately by puting the ball deep into'Shire territory and launching a series of attacks on their opponents line, which resulted in a loss of discipline by the lads from the north and a penalty on half way, which Jones duly converted.
From the re- start Ross took the ball into 'Shire half thanks to good handling by the back row who linked well , supplying Jones with good ball and he confidently put the ball into touch close to the visitors line. From the resulting take the pack showed their dominance and drove over, Henderson again getting the touch down, which Jones converted.
'Shire were looking slightly rattled at this time as this was no doubt not in their script, and this showed when another penalty was awarded for a player being adjuged offside from a knock on just on half way. Up stepped stand off Jones and another three points were added.
There was no let up from High as they resumed assault on the 'Shire line and after another good touch kick, this time by centre Bob Baillie, the pack set about again driving at the line and after several attempts, released the ball left and centre Baillie crashed through two defenders to score between the posts. Try converted.
'Shire made every attempt to get back into the game but a combination of frustration and aggressive defence from Ross, saw most of their efforts repelled and the frustration over spilled when they had a player sin binned for repeated offences at the maul. This was the time for Ross to go for the bonus point, but the normally trusted pack just could not get over the line, despite several attempts, as has been the story on more than one occasion this season, that elusive point slipped away and there was no more scoring for the rest of the game.
Before kick off Ross would have gladly accepted a one point victory over Aberdeenshire, but at the end there was a sense of frustration that the bonus point had not been secured. Comment has to be made about the performance of Dean Jones whose kicking from both hand and place kept the 'shire hemmed in and would have been worthy of Dan Parks.
Ross High Rugby Football Club 1st XV 27 - 14 Aberdeenshire