Pickaquoy infield – Saturday, January 18, 2014
Orkney 37, Mackie Academy FP 8
Orkney RFC eventually took their first home match of 2014 by the scruff of the neck and ran out comfortable bonus-point winners in this early-morning kick-off at the Pickaquoy infield pitch.
It was 7-3 almost immediately, as Mackie slotted a penalty at the other end. The period of play that followed was fairly even, and Mackie started to come more into the match. Their pressure paid off after 25 minutes as they got the ball through hands out to the left wing for a relatively easy run to the try line. It went unconverted, but was enough to sneak Mackie into the lead 7-8.
Orkney try-scorer Steven Groat was off the field shortly after and unhappy at apparently having had his eyes targeted by an opponent. Thankfully he was able to return to play later in the half.
Mackie were retaining possession well now and Orkney were having to battle to get back into the match as it moved into the final ten minutes of the first half. They had a let-off then as Mackie pushed a penalty wide.
Orkney eventually broke out of their half with Philip Ross, Magnus Flett and Alan Brown all involved as the home side showed a bit of what they could do with the ball once they got it. It was Alan Brown who went over for Orkney’s second try. James Linklater’s conversion attempt was just wide, making it 12-8.
With Orkney now looking a bit more like themselves, Scott Rendall, Gary Nicolson and William Thomson all had a go at the line before Mackie were penalised deep inside their 22. Orkney won what was an uncontested scrum and William Thomson was able to go over on the left to extend his side’s lead to 17-8 just before the turn around.
Having got themselves back into the match late in the first half, Orkney secured the bonus point seven minutes into the second period with a good bit of interplay between Alan Brown and Scott Rendall before William Thomson went for the line, getting the ball to Graham Poke to go over, extending the lead to 22-8.
Although he missed the conversion kick, a penalty awarded a few minutes later saw James Linklater slot the ball home from in front of the posts for the three points.
Philip Ross broke up the left to set up the attack for the next try, with Scott Rendall also involved before Orkney captain Alan Brown got the ball and was able to indulge in a bit of showboating, running round towards the posts before diving his length to score his second try of the morning, to make it 30-8.
The home side were now looking more confident than at almost any other time in the match, and they topped off the scoring with another fine running move, with Magnus Flett on the break before finding Bruce Ruthven to go over behind the posts. James Linklater’s conversion kick to make it 37-8 was the final action of the match.
Orkney, who are due to travel away to meet St Andrews University on Saturday morning, have their next home match on February 15, when the visitors will be Dunfermline, in a match rearranged from December due to weather. The Fife side are currently in second place and two points ahead of Orkney, but Orkney have a game in hand.
Photos from this match are available at www.OlliesBaPhotos.com & www.orkneysports.co.uk