27 September 08
Orkney travelled to Stonehaven last weekend, buoyed by their home victory over Kinross, and eagerly seeking an away win to boost confidence and their league standing. With only one point separating Mackie and Orkney a closely fought contest was anticipated.
As Orkney sought to readdress the balance, a turnover saw Mackie recycle the ball and look to clear their lines. The Orkney backs were up quick and Keith Oddie charged down the attempted clearance. Regaining possession, Keith off-loaded the ball to Al Watson who needed no further invitation to go over under the posts. The score and conversion by Oddie giving Orkney a slender 7 – 6 lead.
Further penalties for both sides saw a half time score of 10 – 9 in Orkney’s favour, and the wind advantage in the second half.
Mackie were the first to score in the second half as another penalty was awarded inside the Orkney twenty-two. The game continued to be a tight affair, both sides trying to play rugby, but being prevented in doing so by inconsistent but persistent whistle blowing by the referee. This ruined the flow of the game and prevented phase play by both sides from developing, and allowed defences to realign and re-set.
Given the limited opportunities, it was good to see Al Watson take advantage of a missed tackle and have just enough pace to make the try line, again Keith Oddie converted. 17 -12 for Orkney.
Orkney found themselves further ahead, as Glen Thomson took a well judged miss pass from the veteran playmaker and man of the match Watson, to out flank all Mackie covering defence and score in the corner. 22 – 12 for Orkney.
The last 10 – 15 minutes were all Mackie though as they fought themselves down into the Orkney twenty two only to be thwarted by strong defence. Mackie did manage one break through as their 10 went over near the posts and converted his own try. Further pressure yielded nothing for the home side as Orkney remained resolute. Mackie did have a late penalty opportunity to level the scores, but opted to go for the win. The relief from the Orkney players on the final whistle was soon replaced by jubilation as Orkney picked up their first away victory of the season.
It was good to see Keith Oddie back in Orkney colours as he brought a level head, and cultured boot and a high level of communication, leaving those around him certain of their responsibilities and what was expected of them. As well as the league points that level of communication should be an example of a good habit to get into.
Orkney: Neil McCartney, Erlend Drever, Kevin Sinclair, Derek Robb, Steven Paterson, Andrew Cuddihy, Callum Rendall, Edward Russell, Erik Laughton, Keith Oddie, Phillip Ross, Al Watson, Trevor Spence, Glen Thomson, Raymond Moodie, Ivan Houston, Brian Linklater and Dean Campbell.
This Saturday Orkney play host to Garrioch on the Pickaquoy centre pitch, the team will announced at training. The kick-off time for this weekend’s game is 14.30pm and the Calcutta Cup will be at the club prior to the game for anyone wishing to see it.