Deeside Rugby Club’s under-16 boys team and Garioch’s under-18 girls side are celebrating this week after they won national silverware on Sunday.
In Jedburgh, Deeside defeated hosts Jed-Thistle 19-7 to come out on top in the National Youth Plate final, while, at the Hive Stadium in Edinburgh, Garioch saw off Dumfries Saints 29-24 to be crowned National Youth Shield champions.
After a long bus trip to the Borders, Deeside opened the scoring in the seventh minute of their final with a try from Archie Saunders.
Late in the first half, Oliver Njuguna touched down out wide after a slick backline move straight from the training ground. Rory Smart converted from out wide and it was 12-0 at the break.
Playing into a strong wind, the second half was always going to be more of a challenge for Deeside – and so it proved, with Jed-Thistle scoring a fine converted try under the posts.
The rest of the second half was very tense with the score 12-7 until four minutes from time when Keir Morrow scored off a well-worked lineout. Smart converted once again.
Deeside held on for the victory, and Kristian Eggerton was named player of the match.
David Smart, one of the Deeside coaching group, said: “We are very proud of this excellent group of young men and what they have achieved.
“They have been fantastic ambassadors for Deeside RFC and for rugby in the north-east, and we know there is more to come from this group of players.”
The club live streamed the game so those who could not travel could watch the match, with supporters tuning in from Deeside, London, Poland and even Singapore.
Skipper Megan Riach plays a blinder in Garioch win
Garioch were involved in their own cracking final in the capital.
Skipper Megan Riach scored the opening try for Garioch and Saba Alexander converted.
Dumfries went in at the break 12-7 ahead, though, because captain Daisy McFegan and Kacee Knox scored tries, with Amy Peacock converting one.
Jocelyn Norrie, who was later named player of the match, scored a converted try early in the second half put Garioch up 14-12, and then Riach bagged her second score of the day and it was a seven-point lead.
Louise Taperell’s converted effort then made it 19-19, until Riach’s hat-trick effort put Garioch back in front 24-19.
McFegan’s second score tied things up once again as Dumfries kept fighting, but then Norrie completed her brace of tries to seal victory for Garioch.
Anna Newsome, who coaches the Garioch team, said: “I’m so proud of the way we played.
“Right to the final whistle, the game was end-to-end and could have gone either way, with both teams playing exciting, free flowing rugby.
“The girls showed great self-discipline and resilience to keep pushing for that final try right at the end.
“It’s an exciting time for girls rugby in the north with more playing opportunities and success than ever before.
“I really encourage any girl thinking of trying rugby to contact her local club.”
Captain Riach, the try hat-trick scorer, added: “It was such a close match and near the end it really could have gone either way, but we really, really wanted the win and we fought for it.
“I am proud of every single one of us and what we have achieved.”
Aberdeen Wanderers teens edged out by Falkirk
Meanwhile, Aberdeen Wanderers under-16 boys put in a great effort, but were just edged out by hosts Falkirk in their own National Youth Bowl final on the same day.
During the first half, in wet and windy conditions, Wanderers had a lot of possession, but handling errors and a strong Falkirk defence prevented them from scoring.
Falkirk took advantage of those errors – and the wind at their backs – to score three tries and one conversion to lead 17-0.
Wanderers got off to a good start in the second half with Matthew Herbert powering over for a try and Nathan McGregor converting.
Falkirk then scored another two tries and a conversion, but, despite the light fading and both teams being hit by yellow cards, Wanderers kept going.
They were rewarded when Daniel Myles scored a try three minutes before the end, using great footwork to beat the defenders, and McGregor converted as it finished 29-14 to Falkirk.