Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup Finals | Preview
The Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup, the largest Youth Rugby Finals Day in the country, returns this Sunday!
A total of 30 teams from across the Caledonia region will congregate at Sheddocksley laying Fields in Aberdeen across the day.
The sides have competed in a series of regional leagues and then Cup, Shield, and Bowl knockout rounds, culminating in 24 boys’ and 6 girls’ teams reaching Sunday’s Finals Day event.
The series of games will be played in three intervals, with the first kicking off at 10.30am.
Here we preview the two headline fixtures: Boys and Girls’ U18 Cup
Boys U18 Cup: Stirling County v Mackie
Stirling’s road to the final saw them fend off competition from Deeside/Garioch in the quarter-final with a 48-7 win, before they met Highland in the semi-final for a tightly contested 30-20 game.
Reflecting on the competition so far, Stuart Imrie, head coach of the County U18 boys said: “The Caledonia Cup has been a great development tournament for us. It has allowed us to really push our U18 year group to develop as individuals and as a squad.
“We showed good character to hold off a strong comeback from Highland in the semi-final and the boys have taken a lot from that and the tournament as a whole. The squad is excited for the final and know they will be in for a physical test from the strong Mackie team.”
Mackie has proved to be a formidable side this season. In the quarter final, the Stonehaven side beat Dunfermline 50-0, which was followed by a 52-26 victory over Perthshire in the semi-final.
Mackie U18 head coach, Andrew Buchanan is excited for the opportunity that lies ahead for his squad, saying: “Our U18 squad has had a successful season in the Club Conference league, and we have retained and increased our squad size as the season moved on.
“We have had good competition throughout the Caledonia Cup competition as we moved through the pool stages and tougher games in the knockout.
“Our players have really enjoyed the extended season and are buzzing for the final. It’s a big day for our small club and picking the 22 players was tough, as I wish we could have given the whole squad a game.
“Lifting the trophy would be a massive achievement for this tight group of players many who have played together since Primary 2. They are all proud to represent each other and their club at the end of a great season.”
Girls U18 Cup: Stirling County v Dundee/Fife/Kelpies
The winners of 2022 Girls’ Youth Cup and Youth Shield have both made it to this weekend’s Caledonia U18 Cup Final, but who will take home the spoils?
Stirling County are certainly familiar with this position, having reached the last final in 2019, playing against Caithness. However, they narrowly missed out on the win, and no doubt will be eager to do it again this time round.
Mark Ainsworth, head coach to the County U18 Girls said: “The team is looking forward to playing in the Caledonia Cup final. We anticipate a hard-fought match from the Dundee collective and will be highly motivated to add Stirling’s name to the trophy after missing out in the last final that was played.”
Boys U16 Quaich
On Sunday 24 April, Carnoustie played against The Kelpies in the Boys U16 Quaich. In the nail biting final, the score came down to a difference of just two points, with Carnoustie taking home the spoils.
Full-time: Carnoustie 41 Kelpies 39
Kick-off & match day programme
Girls U16 Shield, 10.30am | Highland v Tayside
Click HERE to view the Saltire Energy Caledonia Cup Finals day programme.
Boys U15 Bowl, 10.30am | Ellon v Mackie Rugby
Boys U18 Shield , 11.00am | Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter v Aberdeen Wanderers
Girls U16 Cup, 12.00pm | Stirling County v Caithness
Boys U18 Plate, 12.30pm | Moray/Huntly v The North
Boys U16 Shield, 12.45pm | Orkney v Dundee Rugby
Boys U15 Shield, 1.00pm | Highland v Aberdeen Wanderers
Boys U15 Plate, 1.45pm | Moray/Huntly v Dunfermline
Boys U18 Bowl, 2.15pm | Ellon v Livingston
Boys U16 Bowl, 2.15pm | Kirkcaldy v Dunfermline
Boys U15 Cup, 2.30pm | Perthshire v Howe of Fife
Boys U16 Cup, 4.00pm | Mackie Rugby v Howe of Fife/Bell Baxter
Boys U18 Cup, 4.00pm | Stirling County v Mackie Rugby
Boys U16 Plate, 4.00pm | Glenrothes v Montrose
Girls U18 Cup, 4.00pm | Stirling County v Dundee/Fife/Kelpies