ARDROSSAN Accies Minis and Micros played their final match of 2017 on a dry and sunny Sunday afternoon.

Their guests were Greenock RFC and both Irvine and Carrick, who combined into a mixed squad on the day to balance the playing numbers. Thanks to the dry weather all week, the pitch was in great condition allowing fast, running rugby to ensue across all age groups.

P1/2 played the Irvine/Carrick mixed team first in a lively, try-ridden affair. The lead swung back and forth throughout the game, but ultimately the Accies youngsters kept their defensive line a little more taut than their opposition and managed to hold on to win by a single score.

Fraser Rodger was at the very heart of their defensive effort and earned star of the day. The second game against Greenock was well won by the home team. Star of the day was young Lewis Anderson who ran in his first try for the club, much to his coaches’ delight.

P3 took on a very speedy Greenock team and were made to defend from the off. Nathan Guffie earned himself the star of the day for leading the tackle count all day long. The game was ultimately lost, but the youngsters were applauded for their gritty determination. Their second match against the mixed team went more favourably and ended in a win. Connor O’Moore had an excellent all-round game and deservedly took the star of the day award.

P4 stepped up to the tough challenge of the Carrick/Irvine mixed team first. Their opposition were big, strong and combined well in attack. That didn’t stop star Harrison Watt from getting thoroughly stuck into the opposition. The game was lost but the children were sufficiently motivated for the next game against Greenock’s P4. This game was more balanced, with tries aplenty for both sets of kids. The result was a draw – a fair outcome, all would agree. Once again Max Walton was a thorn in the side of his opposition, using his evasive running skills to notch up a few scores and another star accolade.

The P5 team had a fine afternoon’s rugby. They firstly beat Greenock in a very close encounter thanks to some deft handling skills and very clever use of the open spaces. Calum Monaghan was simply mesmerising: side stepping and slaloming his way to the try line and a star of the day award. The second match against the mixed team was far tighter and the Accies were made to scrap hard to earn a draw. The opposition asked questions of their defence and it was Stuart Johnston who stood up to answer with a committed performance in the tackle area. He was nominated as star of the day.

P6/7 split into two matchday squads. Accies Black took on Greenock first and were a changed team from their disappointing loss the week prior. Commitment to the tackle, judicial use of passing and an all-round spirited performance saw them come from behind to draw level and ultimately overtake their opposition to win. Morgan Emmery had a fine game – predominantly as a specialist scrum half – and was awarded star of the day. The second game against the mixed Carrick/Irvine team went even better for kids in blue, black and silver. It was well won with Findlay Crawford displaying a masterclass in counter-rucking, helping the Accies turn possession over and chalk up a few scores along the way. He was the second star of the day.

Accies Blue played the same teams in reverse order. The mixed team proved a stern opposition, fighting their way back from an early Accies lead to draw level. Lachlan Davis scored a peach of a match winner, deep into injury time. Unfortunately, he was injured in the aftermath and didn’t make the second match. The second saw the Accies produce their finest performance of the season thus far. They defied the size mismatches with resolute defence, they outscored Greenock by using their wits and wily skills. Tom Monaghan was ruthless in defence with his tackle-and-jackal larceny of opposition ball whilst being just as cheeky in attack: taking three interception tries. His fellow star of the day was the irrepressible Brandon Dekker whose outstanding defence saved countless tries and rangy running saw him score a brace of his own.

Altogether it was a cracking, crowd-pleasing collection of performances, played in great spirits against the Accies good friends. The delighted parents and coaches can only hope for more of the same in 2018.