Travel for the game was via Loganair flight to Glasgow on the Saturday morning something the whole squad are appreciating. Flying made possible by travel assistance from the Scottish rugby union and great flexibility shown by Loganair group bookings.
The game commenced with Orkney receiving the kick in very wet conditions with little wind to speak of.
From the kick off Orkney got off to a quick start and made their way in to home territory with good hard running and secure handling despite the monsoon conditions.
This led to the home side conceding penalties. Six minutes in from one such penalty Orkney hooker Scott Rendall took a tap from five metres out in front of the posts and barged his way over for a try. Connor Hancock stepped up to convert.
Following the restart Orkney had to withstand a couple of Glens attacks but the defence stood firm, and Liam Moar was able to draw a penalty with an exemplary tackle.
William Thomson kicked the ball up to the opposition twenty-two metre line. Orkney won the line out and played the ball along the line. The home side were penalised again this time for a high tackle. Connor Hancock stepping up to convert.
Ten minutes gone and Orkney ten points up after a good solid start. The lead however was soon cut to seven after Orkney strayed offside in just outside their twenty-two. The Allan Glens centre stepping up to convert the kick and start what would turn out to be a successful day from the tee.
Orkney were soon back up in the home half looking for a scoring opportunity although handling mistakes were starting to creep in from both sides due to the wet greasy ball.
From a home scrum on their own twenty-two Glens cleared deep into Orkney territory. The ball was fielded by Philip Ross who ran back towards the opposition. He was half tackled and as he fell was caught on the jaw by the home winger. Not deliberate but under the laws a yellow card for the winger and ten minutes out. Fortunately, Ross was able to continue.
From the penalty Orkney were back on the attack in the home half. Glens managed to turn the ball over on their twenty-two and chose to kick back to Orkney. It was fielded by Scott Rendall who saw he has numbers out wide to his left and chose to kick cross field. Unfortunately, he did not kick it long enough and it was fielded by a Glens player. Who immediately turned defence in to attack. The ball was kicked forward with multiple home players in pursuit.
Orkney fullback Ross went down to secure the ball but on getting up was hit by the on-rushing attack and tackled to ground. Thomson tried providing assistance, but the counter ruck drew a penalty for Orkney going off their feet. A quick tap taken, and Orkney stopped the player short of the line. However, another penalty awarded for off-side. This time the home side opted for a scrum five metres out from the Orkney try line. Prepared to back their scrum having had the upper hand in this phase of play at that stage.
This proved to be a good decision with the big number eight picking up and driving over the line with two Orkney tacklers unable to stop him. The try converted to level the scores at ten all.
The final try of the half was to be Allan Glens. Initially Orkney had a promising attacking scrum on the home ten metre line. However, under pressure the ball was lost at the base and the home scrum half kicked it downfield with four teammates chasing. Ross fielded it well and at first looked to have support and a maul was set up. The ball was spilled and picked up by scrum half Morgan. He was then hit by the home seven who looked suspiciously off-side causing the ball to dislodge into the hands of his teammate. The ball was then passed to space for home centre to score a converted try under the posts.
Worryingly for Orkney hooker Rendall clattered his leg hard on the post trying to prevent the score and had to leave the field for treatment returning for the second half.
Half – time 17-10 in favour of the home side.
Orkney having had plenty of territory and possession but mistakes costing them dear at key moments. Glens taking full advantage of their scoring opportunities.
Orkney commenced the second half looking to get back on terms. Soon they were camped on the home try line battering against a stubborn home defence for the try. Unfortunately, the opportunity was gone when a rare inaccuracy from a lineout on the home five allowed Glens to exit up field and relieve pressure. Orkney back in possession still had issues at scrum time and were pressured in to mistakes and gave away penalties. One of these led to a Glens lineout five metres out where the number eight peeled round the front and barged over despite being hit hard. The conversion falling short.
Buoyed by moving two scores clear Glens started to make offloads stick to players in support. This made it harder for Orkney to realign and push them back. Notably they were starting to boss the outside channels and their next score was a combination of both aspects. The big second row diving over in the left corner for a converted try.
Orkney managed to get back into the home half and from a promising position had a line out. Under pressure they were unable to secure good ball and the home side transitioned to attack quickly and went up field. Initially Orkney managed to stop a maul and if fell short. Orkney with the put in were comprehensively driven off the ball for a Glens player to ground the ball for a converted try.
Orkney introduced Jacob Heal, Tom McArthur and Connor Macleod to replace Ross, Morgan and Nicolson, respectively.
Orkney by now were throwing the dice and from a hectic passage of play the ball was kicked forward. The home full-back volleyed the ball back over the Orkney players into space and was able to sprint forward and score the try. Once again, the conversion was good putting Allan Glens 43-10 up.
It was Orkney however who were to have the last say in the game. Following a period of continued pressure on the home try line the pressure eventually told for Hancock to breenge over for the try converted by himself.
Final score 43-17 to Allan Glens who were well worth their win over the piece. Ascendancy in the scrum and support of the ball carrier being notable areas of success in difficult conditions. Orkney although having the better of the line out lacked accuracy at key moments and against opposition who transitioned well from defence to attack proved costly.
Player of the match for Orkney was awarded to Scott Russell who despite carrying a slight neck strain tackled hard and carried well over the piece.
This Saturday sees Hillhead/Jordanhill RFC travel to Orkney for the next fixture in National 3. Orkney will have to be at their ruthless best against a side going well in the league. Kick off is at 1400hrs on the centre pitch at Picky.
Orkney team; Owen Griffiths, Scott Rendall, Craig Rendall, Adam Watt, Liam Moar, Jon Tait, Craig Brough, Gary Nicolson, Ali Morgan, Connor Hancock, Ewan Stevenson, William Thomson, Scott Russell, Jamie Hutchison, Philip Ross, subs; Connor Macleod, Chris Hardie, Tom McArthur, Jacob Heal
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