Pickaquoy Outfield - Saturday, September 12, 2015
Orkney RFC 20, GHK 34
The home side had taken the lead through a James Linklater penalty, but it would be the last time they were ahead.
A quick tap penalty gave GHK an unconverted try soon after and then midway through the half they went over again, converted this time for a 12-3 lead.
Orkney's reply came through patient forward work, with Al Watson burrowing over from close range. The gap was opened up soon again though with the visitors right upfield and into the Orkney 22 again. Despite some dour defending they found a gap and were over again. Half an hour gone then and it was 17-8 to the visitors.
That might have been it for the half, but GHK had other ideas and a penalty kicked into the left corner let them ramp up the pressure on Orkney again and they spun the ball quickly through hands from left to right for their winger to go over in the corner. A successful conversion made it 24-15 at the turnaround.
Scoring wasn't so frequent in a tighter second half, but despite the wind being more in Orkney's favour now GHK opened things with an unconverted try. This gave Orkney their target, with two converted tries now between them.
With 20 minutes to go the gap was the same and although they had several chances it was into the final 15 minutes before Orkney managed to breach the GHK line, Jon Tait getting on the end of a great break from Willie Thomson. With Linklater's kick just wide it was 29-20.
However, Orkney were punished once again for allowing GHK too much room to run at them, and the gap was back to 14 points as the visitors hared upfield to the Orkney line.
Cue the final push from Orkney, and it was a valiant effort, with three penalties in a row giving opportunities to attack the GHK line. The final of these was a scrum and James Linklater wasn't far out as he looped out towards the left corner. But this was deep into time added on and when Orkney lost the ball in the next attack the final whistle sounded to end what had been an exciting and hard-fought encounter.