Shetland rugby played their penultimate game of the season last weekend, going down 42-5 against a slick Deeside team at Aboyne.
Travelling with only 15 players, Shetland had to reshuffle the line up and play a number of players out of position.
Shetland captain Matthew Nicholson kicked the game off and Deeside started going through their phases in the forwards. Shetland defended well for the first 10 minutes but after quick ball was recycled Deeside brought their fullback into the backline to create an overlap and score at the corner. The conversion was missed to put Deeside 5-0 ahead.
From the restart Deeside again spun the ball wide and made yardage and after a spell of possession scored once more through the winger. Conversion was made to put Deeside 12-0 ahead.
Shetland now seemed to adjust to the pace of the game and after winning the ball in their half, flank forward Jeff Shaw received the ball and offloaded in the tackle to fellow flanker Stuart Mouat. Stuart outpaced the cover but was tackled by the full back and the ball was turned over by Deeside who kicked long. Shetland gained possession and went through a couple of phases in the forwards. The ball was passed to stand off Maurice Williamson who managed to beat his opposite number and race through. A good tackle by the Deeside fullback saw Williamson offload to centre Matt Nicholson who ran in to score. Nicholson missed the conversion to put the score 12-5 in Deeside’s favour.
For the next 10 minutes Shetland managed to compete well but were being put under pressure at the scrum. Shetland number eight Jimmy Smale managed to make good yardage on a number of occasions from a scrum going backwards. Deeside did manage to kick two penalties in this period and on the stroke of half time scored another try which was converted to put them 25-5 ahead.
In the second half Shetland had the slight wind advantage and with a heavy snow flurry the next 20 minutes was a forward battle with Shetland holding their own, Williamson and Nicolson both making breaks that lacked support to finish the moves off.
Midway through the half Deeside scored again which was converted to put the score at 32-5. There were no more scores until the last couple of minutes. A good kick ahead from scrum half Tom Smale bounced away from the Shetland chasers and with the other players tiring Deeside managed to move the ball to score again. With the conversion missed, the score stood at 37-5.
From the restart Deeside won the ball and moved it wide left and back right, outflanking the Shetland players. They scored again to give a final score of 42-5 to the home team.
This was a determined performance by Shetland which saw their young front five of Ross Winks, Ian Robertson, Daniel Meadows, Ieaun Webb and Krystian Fraser battle right to the end. Northwards man of the match went to Maurice Williamson.
This week sees an internal game with a noon kick-off on Saturday followed by the last league game on the 11th of April away to Banff.
Training continues at 6.30pm on Tuesday and Thursday. Players new and old are more than welcome.
For further info log onto www.shetlandrugby.com