Mackie Academy FPs U18s made the short trip down to Perth on Saturday full of confidence after wins against Dundee and Ellon in the Mitsubishi Motors Lancer Conference.
Being short of a couple of key players made team selection a challenge for the coaches with young Jamie Lawrence playing his first match of the season at hooker and Mikey Mair getting a start on the wing.
Mackie started the match and it was soon apparent that Perth were not going to make it easy going for the team in red and black.
Both teams were hitting the rucks hard and it was a frantic start for both teams.
Mackie scrum half Fin Jacobson made a quick snipe up the blindside of a ruck and soon Mackie were deep in Perth territory, some heroic defending from the home team stopping the Mackie drive on their line before turning the ball over and kicking clear.
The first line out was tightly contested with Sam Burslem winning the jump against the taller Perth number 8, possession Mackie, after some good continuity between the forwards and backs paved the way for Mikey Mair to burst through two tackles to score in the corner, The resulting difficult kick sliced wide.
A series of scrums in midfield were contested by both teams with the Mackie scrum particularly strong and stable, Thursdays scrummaging session working wonders for the makeshift front row.
By now Mackie were dominant and the next score was under the posts, with Captain Iwan Kelly, feeding Zander Begg who run a great line to score under the posts. Robbie Crighton slotting the extras through the uprights.
The second half soon started and Perth had the upper hand of the early exchanges with Mackie giving away a series of penalties.
A couple of missed tackles let Perth in.
The tough angle made the kick difficult and was sliced wide. A series of substitutions had Aidan Smith replacing Mikey Mair, Ethan Thomas replacing Ian Macey and Finlay Neal replacing the excellent Fennick Deans.
These changes soon brought dividends when some excellent work by Nathan Grundy and Fraser Lindsay at the breakdown started a series of passes through the backs to speedster Aiden Smith who showed the defenders a clean set of heels to run in a try from just past the halfway line to the delight of the travelling Mackie Support.
The kick was converted by Crighton who soon made way for Steven Miller to make his debut. Steven was soon in action partially stopping the Perth attack before Iwan Kelly made the important tackle.
Despite some excellent rugby from Perth they just couldn’t match the intensity and skills shown by the Stonehaven Team.
Final Score Perthshire 5 - 19 MAFPRFC.