Brechin Pirates Micros, P4/5 and P6/7 Squads, braved the elements on Sunday to meet the Rams at their home ground in Blairgowrie.
The Micros (nursery – primary 3) had a great turn out of ten players, and the decision was taken to split the team into an older and younger age grouping.
The younger age group team consisted of James May, Elizabeth May, Calean Porter, Ella Johnston, Peter McLaren and Fergus Gordon.
Although slow to get going, once they figured out which direction they were meant to be running there were spirited runs from Elizabeth, James and Peter.
Unfortunately, Peter stopped short of the score-line and missed out on his first try by a whisker – and spirited Caelan kept running past the try line towards the clubhouse.
The one try of the match for the Pirates was scored by James after a wee bit of a detour round the try area.
All the team put in a great effort and coach Dianne Morland was very proud of them all.
The older age group was made up of Peter Marwood, Gregory Pert, Douglas Gordon and Jamie Leslie-Melville along with two players from the Rams.
Robin Leslie-Melville stepped in and assisted with this match for which the Pirates are very grateful.
The older team was well up for it and managed to put in some great tackles and searing runs (mostly in the right direction!).
All did very well and it was great having Dougie back to add his strength and determination to the team.
Gregor and Jamie both put in some good runs and tackles and Peter was right up with the pace too.
When the first game finished it was the Micros who were desperate to go again and the enthusiasm from the Pirates was very impressive on what was a cold day and a hard pitch.
Some nasty bruises but enjoyed by all.
The P4/5s were light on numbers with just three players being able to make the fixture – Nicholas Leslie-Melville, Rachel Johnston and Alix Morland.
However, it gave them the opportunity to join in a training session with the Rams. Coach Malcolm Sharpe would like to thank the Rams coaches for allowing the P4/5s to participate in the session and the Pirates players and parents for travelling through to Blairgowrie.
With a few absences/illnesses in the P6/7s Brechin were short on numbers, giving the home team an advantage on substitutes.
In two games, each of 15 minute halves both teams played their hearts out and were very evenly matched.
From the start the first game produced end to end action. The Pirates were holding the larger Rams in the centre and dominating the breakthrough wide, running home some excellent individual tries.
The Rams were first to score but after that Brechin took a two-try lead which Blair gradually wore down.
It was clear the cold, slippery, wet ball was causing both teams problems with many a knock-on resulting in scrums.
Discipline was maintained in the line and several Rams breakthrough attempts were well intercepted with determined tackles produced from the hard working boys, which resulted in the ball being turned over to the Pirates.
This was followed by solid attacking rugby from the Pirates, with plenty of support evident and the tries mounted. Gradually however, the Rams made good use of their tall runner and went wide around the Pirates defence to eventually win the game 7 – 6.
After a short break, the second game began in similar form to the first - very even play with each side stopping the other in the centre of the park and making good use of the wings.
Inevitably, the advantage of the Rams substitutes took their toll on the tiring Pirates and the Rams runner broke through the Pirate line several times.
In attack, Pirate support began to falter as tired muscles strained to keep up but even then some great team tries were scored and several more were held up by desperate Rams defending.
After such a long time over the winter since their last match the coaches were inspired by the courageous spirit and great character the boys showed - all of them putting in committed tackles, taking on a much larger opposition with impunity and attacking with confidence.
Such was the effort made by all it was impossible to single out an individual as man of the match. The squad comprised Kyle Healey, Tom Marwood, Callum Pert, Lee Robertson, Josh Sharpe, Cain Stewart and Jack Wood.
Thanks go to our Blairgowrie hosts for providing such a good day out - a friendly atmosphere, good sportsmanship and very welcome hot food after the match.