Pickaquoy - Saturday 1st February 2020
Orkney Dragons 27, Aberdeenshire Quines
On what started out as a wet and windy Saturday 1st February Orkney Dragons began their National Bowl campaign against Aberdeenshire Quines.
The match kicked off at Noon on the centre pitch at the Pickaquoy Centre under, thankfully clear skies but with a stiff cold wind blowing. Quines had arrived with a depleted squad of 16 but travelled none the less so the fixture went ahead.
The conversion missed. Dragons picked up again but the Quines had the wind and were able to kick clear from the back of the scrum. They pushed Orkney back into their own 22 and slipped their 2nd try through on the opposite side. Conversion missed again leaving the score at 0-10.
The Dragons began to stir and found their structure. With more organised phases of play and hard carries from forwards Sandra Davy, Nickie Milne and Laura Baillie progress was made and Emmerleigh Smith was able to run clear beating several defenders to put the first points on the board.
Into the second half due to injuries and the lack of Quines substitutes the game dropped to 13 aside and with the loss of Rachal Thomson to a nasty dislocated knee Orkney had to reshuffle.
However this must have worked in the Dragons favour because they began to pressure Aberdeen in their 22 and Shauna Malcolm took a blistering spurt through the Quines defence to power through a try under the posts. Shaynee Moar was able to convert.
Not long afterwards the Orkney forwards were back on their game before the backs spun the ball wide for Rebecca Scott to score in the corner. Score 17-10.
Quines were able to quickly reply with two more tries but they were showing real signs of tiring and Emmerleigh Smith, who was on fire slotted in her second try of the game bringing the score to a 22 all draw.
The final 12 minutes proved to be very tense to watch from the touchline. Both teams were battling hard for the win but Orkney were now in full flow battering the Quines with everything they had the sustained pressure allowed Emmerleigh Smith her third try of the game- once again blitzing through the Quines defence.
FT score 27-22 and important win for Orkney Dragons in the pool stages of the Bowl.
Thanks to our Match Day Sponsors JM & I Nicolson formerly DS Nicolson and to DO John Cairns. Lucy Flett and Lorraine Davidson firstaiders and Leah Pepper Mascot.
Queens of Team were Laura Baillie and new Vice Captain Donna Wilson.
Earning their first caps for Orkney and putting on impressive performances were- Joanne Rendall, Laura Manson and Amy Bilcliffe