Published: 09/11/2017 09:30 - Updated: 08/11/2017 10:44

Ross Stags roar to victory in cup clash

Ross Sutherland centre Ross Mellis makes another break.
Ross Sutherland centre Ross Mellis makes another break.

ROSS Sutherland progressed to the semi-final of the BT Caledonia Regional Bowl North at the weekend with a convincing 73-7 win over Fraserburgh.

This also puts the Invergordon club one step closer to a dream day out at Murrayfield.

Ross started strongly, knowing the visitors from a league below would be keen for the scalp, but in reality it was over within the first 20 minutes with the hosts running in four unanswered converted tries.

Fraserburgh came up with a big pack and were asking questions of the forwards, but the away side struggled to cope with the flair and pace of the Ross backs.

The first try on 10 minutes came through a delicate chip through the boot of John Mann, who was playing at 10 for the day, with club captain Ali Kennedy away.

The chip kick was collected by winger Kenny Horfield to score in the corner. John Mann added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

The second try minutes later came through another typical run jinxing run from full-back Gareth Braddick, who picked up a loose ball just inside the Ross half, and carved through the defence to score, with Mann converting to make it 14-0.

On the 15-minute mark, flanker Chris Whatt got his first for the season with a quick pick and go from the base of the ruck that caught the visiting side napping to run in untouched under the posts, with Mann adding a simple kick for a 21-0 advantage.

Then centre Ross Mellis got Ross Sutherland forward again with another strong run to get his first of three for the afternoon, with Mann adding the conversion for a 28-0 scoreline.

Ross Mellis and Kenny Horsfield then notched their second scores of the match, with Mann not being able to add the extras. But just before half-time, Fraserburgh hit back with a converted try for what would prove to be their only score of the game, making it 38-7.

The second half would see the home side run riot and stretch further in the lead. Fraserburgh were showing great fighting spirit, but their defence was starting to tire from the relentless Ross attack.

The Stags ran in a further five tries through Gareth Braddick and Chris Whatt bagging their second scores, with Mann adding the conversion to make it 52-7.

Mellis showed his great pace again to get his hat-trick of tries, with Mann kicking over to make it 59-7.

Horsfield soon grabbed his third of the game when he got on the end of his own chip through for his third of the game, with David Kennedy adding the conversion.

Tom Bannerman then got on the end of a great team try, with Kennedy again adding the conversion.

Team manager Stuart Mack was thrilled with this performance.

He said: "The whole team did great in what could have been a banana skin of a fixture, but to have sealed the win really by the first half shows great commitment and attitude by the boys.

"In the second half, we kept the pressure and intensity up, which was good to see. We have areas we need to improve for the semi-final, but the autumn break will give us an opportunity to address these areas."

Ross Sutherland now enter the break with no fixture being played during the month of November, but training will continue and the league will start again on December 2 with an away trip to Aberdeen Grammar seconds.

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