The match, sponsored by Garrett Bros, was also something of a launch event for Ken’s Orkney Prostate Awareness charity and generosity of players and spectators saw around £2000 raised on the day.
Video of the 1st half: George Brown
On the pitch, Orkney had loaned Skye several players due to shortages in the visitors’ ranks, with the local players turning out for the opposition giving an excellent account of themselves.
However, though both sides had periods of dominance, it was Orkney that eventually ran out winners by 50-24, with a trio of late tries stretching their lead as Skye began to flag.
It was the visitors that had started the brighter, quickly up to the Orkney line, testing the home defence early on. They held firm, but a penalty saw Skye stand-off Paddy MacInnes score the first of his points from the boot after 8 minutes.
Orkney responded with their first foray up the pitch, with Andrew Linklater, Keith Holland, Ryan Arcus, Ryan Mooney and captain Bruce Pinkerton all involved as they gained ground.
Paul Johnston was through under the posts but lost it forward, and then a penalty kicked to the corner for a line out maintained the pressure and they were over the line but held up.
As Orkney continued to press Ryan Silver touched down on the line but his double movement was picked up by referee Ian Rushbrook. However, there was no doubt when Andrew Linklater went over right on the back of this. Ryan Mooney slotted the conversion and Orkney led 7-3 as we moved into the second quarter.
Another period of Skye pressure came after a bit of a midfield exchange of penalties, but Orkney weathered the storm again and a penalty on the Orkney 22 allowed the home side to kick for line out.
Then Bruce Pinkerton linked with Keith Holland for another good carry before Keith Dearness gathered a Skye chip through. And it was Dearness that eventually fed Fraser Dowell to go over for Orkney’s next try, with Mooney converting well again for a 14-3 lead 8 minutes out from half time.
However, Skye responded immediately and intense pressure on the Orkney line saw Ally Amer head off 5 minutes earlier than the rest of the players, yellow-carded for not rolling away, and shortly after Alan Thomson joined him on a yellow.
Orkney’s loss of numbers told, and Skye No8 Jamie Auld went over next to the posts, MacInnes’s conversion was the last kick of the half as the teams turned round with Orkney 14-10 ahead.
It was 13-man Orkney that extended their lead early in the second half though, with Adam Baird crashing over from a great set-piece move - another beauty of a conversion from Mooney made it 21-10.
Ally Amer was back on as Orkney attacked on the left with a line out win that gave them possession five metres out from the Skye line, sniffing another score. However, a knock-on gave the visitors scrum put-in and they eased the pressure.
Skye were up the Orkney end with a kick towards the line, but Orkney won the foot race and were soon back up the other end for their fourth try, Jacob Urgias going over this time, fed by Adam Baird after a great bit of Orkney attack up the right. It went unconverted this time.
And it was Adam Baird that had the home fans cheering minutes later as he broke through and ran most of the Skye half to go over under the posts, with Mooney’s conversion taking the lead to 33-10 as we moved into the final quarter.
Skye were not done though, and sustained pressure in the Orkney 22 led to a penalty that saw Auld go over for his second try of the afternoon, the MacInnes conversion closing the score.
The stand-off had a try of his own shortly after, with Auld providing the ball to send him through. MacInnes covered his own score and it was 33-24.
Any thoughts of a comeback for the visitors was quickly quelled by a late trio of Orkney tries though, with great hands across the backs sending Ryan Silver in for a brace before Man of the Match Ryan Mooney went over under the posts for the final try of the match.
He wasn’t given the chance to convert as Rushbrook whistled at the touchdown, but Orkney had stretched their lead to 50-24 with this late wave of attacks.
Glen McLellan introduced Ken Amer and talked about Ken’s new charity, Orkney Prostate Awareness, before Ken presented the new trophy to winning Orkney captain Bruce Pinkerton. Ken expressed hope that this would become an annual fixture.
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