THE 2017/18 season for Mini and Micro rugby players kicked off with a three-team fixture at Ardrossan Accies' Memorial Field ground on Sunday.

Local clubs and good friends Irvine and Greenock RFC came along for a first hit-out of the season in warm, sunny conditions.

With 140 children playing, 30 volunteer coaches and scores of parents, Ardrossan was a busy place.

Training has been underway for several weeks, not to mention the rugby summer camps held in the school holidays therefore the skill levels and pace of the games was remarkably high. All three clubs were brave and committed in their tackling and tireless in their running. Some of the tactical skills were also first class.

The Accies Micros (P1-P3) divided into two squads, with the more experienced team playing Greenock and battling to a hard won draw thanks to some wonderful team-work and supportive play.

Star of the day was the irrepressible Logan Gallacher who ran a record breaking seven tries. The younger Accies played a mixed Irvine/Greenock squad and had tremendous fun on their way to a close win in what was for many children their first ever rugby match. Kara Peesapati was the star of the day thanks to a wonderfully energetic performance.

The P4 team played two fixtures, initially coming up short against Irvine despite the best efforts of Star of the day Rory Gallacher. However, after a quick rally round they went on to produce a stunning display of committed, energetic rugby and beat Greenock in the second match. Calan Tyler stood out as star of the second match thanks to his defensive efforts.

P5 produced some very crisp, efficient rugby with neat passes, clever use of the open space and a devilish eye for the try. Despite valiant efforts by both Greenock and Irvine, the Accies won both matches. Joshua Bleakely was a force of nature in the first match, netting the star of the day award whilst Stewart Johnstone’s electric pace in the second match saw him scoop several tries and the star of the day award.

P6 Started their first game against Greenock by running hard, fast and elusive lines. They were quickly in the lead by several tries when Greenock mounted and excellent fight back, raising their communication and strategic play. Nonetheless the Accies won well with Calum Davis’ ability to pounce on any loose ball and turn into a try netting him star of the day. The second match against Irvine was a tougher affair with the visitors going three tries to one up within a few minutes thanks to strong carrying. However, after the half-time break the Accies managed to revert to their faster, wider game style and ended with a win. Ronnie Robertson put in a great shift and was duly awarded star of the day.

P7 enjoyed a good day in the office with a strong performance and a good win against Irvine. Again they targeted the wide open spaces and used their passing and running skills to keep the tries coming. Evie Ruine had a fine game, netting her the star of the day. The second match against Greenock had a completely different feel with the visitors taking the lead quickly and maintaining it until close to the final whistle. The Accies grabbed the game back and win by a single score. Brandon Dekker was the star after a tireless display of counter attacking.

Finally, Greenock and Irvine met. Greenock managed to push Irvine’s tired legs to the limits and despite their best efforts Irvine lost. Like all the other games, it was played in excellent spirits and with a first class attitude from the players, coaches and supporters of all three clubs. The three clubs meet again in October to continue their triangular fixture.