The ball was now being spread much better and strong running from centres, Adam Fallows and Harry Siderfin was much more effective than in the first half. The wingers, Cameron Fraser and Henry Gordon were also getting a chance to stretch their legs, where previously most of their work had been in defence. The Shetland defence was still solid though until Adam burst though the centre and scored underneath the posts with only five minutes left to play.
John Esslemont then kicked the only conversion of the match to put Orkney two points ahead. Both sides tried hard to win the game in the final few minutes, Magnus Merriman and Bruce Ritch tried to batter their way through as the big Shetland pack seemed to tire. Flying Hooker (not two words that usually go together), Liam Thomson was stopped short after one of his trademark lung bursting runs. It wasn’t one way traffic however and Shetland were still posing a threat. Orkneys back row forwards deserve special mention for their work rate in defence particularly. There was no further scoring though with Orkney narrowly winning 10-12.
Club president Rodney Spence and past president John Hawgood accompanied coaches Bruce Ruthven, Graham Lincoln and John Rendall on the tour. Rodney commented that it’s good to have this fixture for the under 14’s and felt that links with Shetland were important. The timing he felt was also good as it had tied in well with the Junior inter-county this year. He was also pleased with the opportunity to get a better perspective on how this age level operated and get to know the boys, as well as time to talk to the coaches.
Orkney Coach Bruce Ruthven commented;
“The boys have scraped through the Inter county fixture with a narrow but deserved victory and are well pleased. They have shown good commitment this season and a mature approach to their fund-raising to allow the trip to happen which was particularly pleasing and the whole experience serves them well for the years ahead. The behaviour has been tremendous and we have all had a great time. Many thanks to Daniel & Rae Meadows for their big input in Shetland which made for a great, well organised and enjoyable weekend.”