Ellon gave themselves a glimmer of hope in the battle to avoid relegation after being under the cosh for the first half hour against Caley Division 1 table-toppers Gordonians at the Meadows on Saturday, writes Jack Nixon.
The Aberdeen side seemed set to crush the league’s strugglers in what looked to be a hopelessly one-sided game.
It looked all over for the home side going in at half-time 41-0 down, only for the Meadows men to rally, scoring three tries as the Aberdeen side wilted in the face of a burst of determined activity from the home pack.
A bonus point for the bottom side seemed a certainty, but in the end Ellon had to settle for a fighting comeback which gave the substantial home crowd the satisfaction of seeing their favourites out score the Countesswells side by 19-12 from the 40th minute for a final score of 53-19.
Coach Ryan Morrice said: “When we eventually got into our stride we matched them, and were probably unlucky not to get a try bonus point.
“We now need to carry our second half form into our next game against Hillfoots at Tillicoultry.”
The Meadows has seen some memorable comebacks, but after shipping six tries in the first half hour, few would have tipped Morrice’s men to recover their composure, far less dominate the remaining 50 minutes.
Ewan McIntyre was a tireless two-try hero, while Jamie Dalgarno was a continual thorn in the flesh with his powerful ball carrying skills.
The hope is that the young Ellon side will have gained the necessary confidence to survive in the hurly burly of the top Caledonian league, while learning to get out of the traps a little quicker.
Gordonians looked every bit title contenders for half an hour, until Ellon pride kicked in.