The youngest age group in the Mackie Minis tournament held on Saturday is the “Micros” (P2/P3).
The strength of this section of the Mackie club meant that four “home” squads were to compete for honours, these being the Mackie Reds, Blacks, Hoops and Quarters. A total of twelve teams from seven different clubs took part from around the North East of Scotland.
Although this was the first taste of real competition for some of the Mackie boys and girls, they rose to the occasion with great style and effort and all teams competed very well indeed.
The teams were initially split into three groups to play pool matches. The winners and best placed runners up of these groups then made up the semi-finals. Over almost two hours the pool games were played and each game was an exciting contest with a lot of skill and determination on show all round.
In each group, the Mackie teams showed what they were made of with some strong running, brave tag tackling and outstanding effort. Even in the group stages, some matches were very tense, especially when the Mackie teams played each other! In one group, the Mackie Hoops were on track to be clear Group winners on points before being knocked off their stride by the Mackie Quarters, which resulted in them having to rely on a better try scoring record to earn their place in the semi finals alongside the Mackie Blacks, Deeside and Strathmore.
The semi finals were played with great enthusiasm. The Mackie Hoops fought bravely but were eventually knocked out by a well drilled Deeside team. The Mackie Blacks also fought tooth and nail against a very physical team from Strathmore. This match was so well matched that it was a draw at full time, and extra time had to be played. Again a ding dong battle ensued with tries being traded one for one, and the match remained a draw after extra time. The game then moved into the “sudden death” phase where the next try scored would be the winner. Possession was with Mackie and they did not disappoint, finishing a fine passage of play with the “golden try” that took them to the final against Deeside, last year’s winners.
Both finalists were piped out to a well deserved round of applause from the crowd of local and visiting supporters. The final was a really good example of end to end, fast flowing micro rugby that had both sets of supporters cheering loudly from start to finish with Deeside eventually emerging victorious to once again take away the winners shield.
Although the Mackie players were disappointed at being pipped at the post in their own tournament, that did not last long and all four Mackie teams should rightly feel proud of their performance and their standard of play. Each player won a medal for their efforts and if the fun and enjoyment they each had persuades them to continue with rugby next year, then it was an extremely successful day indeed.
Our photographer attended the Mackie mini rugby tournament look out for a selection of his pictures in your newspaper next week.