A quick start from the travelling side put unexpected pressure on Garioch’s defence who had to commit players early to Orkney’s improved rucks. No. 9 Charlene Nicol recycled the ball quickly to the Dragons back line who worked the ball to find winger Amy Walker who created space on the outside channel with support from the reliable full back Paige Archibald. Garioch’s composure was called upon early to stop Orkney’s pacey attack and the seasoned team countered through the Scottish trialled inside centre.
This led to Garioch’s first try of the afternoon and Orkney realised that their lack of game time in their BT Women’s North league may prove detrimental. The Dragons continued to work tirelessly at the breakdown and put in persistent tackles but the skill and accuracy demonstrated from their opponents was faultless and they extended their lead.
This did not dampen the spirits of the underdogs as the forwards showed insistent strength to break through the defensive line with Jennifer Scott who narrowly missed a try scoring opportunity created from pure strength. Orkney went into the half time break 24 – 0 down but not disheartened.
Changes were made to disrupt the speed and structure of Garioch’s well organised back line before the second half was underway.
Tensions began to rise during the early stages of the half as Orkney had started with renewed vigour turning over possession with well timed, firm tackles by Dawn Simison, Beki Russell and Hannah Cursiter. Clever dexterity led to another attack from Garioch who capitalised on a tired, depleted Orkney side and the undeniable class of their opponents proved critical.
Both teams acknowledged the difference in standard and appreciated the well contested game. Garioch secured a convincing 55- 0 win over Orkney but it was noted how far the team had progressed in their short time as a club.
Orkney wish Garioch all the best in Murrayfield and would like to thank them for their hospitality. Also, Northlink for their continued sponsorship, the coaches, and the supporters who undoubtedly backed Orkney from the beginning.
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