Tennent's Women's North League
Pickaquoy Infield, Saturday 24th November 2018
Orkney Dragons 27, Shetland Women 31
On Saturday 24th November the final game of the Tennent’s Women’s North League was once again the decider for top place between Orkney Dragons and island rivals Shetland Women. Orkney’s home defeat to Inverness Craig Dunain earlier in the season had left them in the precarious position of not only needing a bonus point win but also the need to prevent Shetland taking away any bonus.
A large crowd had gathered to watch and enjoy Orkney RFC’s “Ladies Day” in the sunshine at Pickaquoy's centre pitch. Shetland took the kickoff which was scooped up by Stacey Tualasea and strong running from Orkney carried the ball up the pitch. Shetland soon obtained possession through fast work at the breakdown and spun the ball wide to their new outside centre Charis Scott who, with her footballing background showed fantastic speed and manoeuvrability to score for Shetland.
This was to be the pattern for the rest of the first half. Shetland were much improved from previous encounters and Orkney were slow to adapt to the speed at the breakdown, losing possession to the quicker reacting Shetland players. Charis was able to run in three further tries but not without reply, in typical Tualasea style Stacey was able to force her way over the line. Shortly afterwards the ball made it out to Paige Archibald and she turned on the afterburners for Orkney’s second try of the day.
Half time score 10-24.
It seemed with the League title off the cards for Orkney they were able to find their stride and the second half saw much better rugby from the home side as they started to make problems for Shetland. Rachal Thomson, new to the Dragon squad this season was able to get the better of the Shetland defence and score her first try for the team right under the posts.
Orkney began to play with a new vigour and Paige Archibald scored her second try of the game. Captain Beki Russell scooped up a loose ball and made a break way run up the centre of the park leaving Shetland in her wake. Unfortunately they were able to stop her short of the try line however quick reactions from Orkney kept them in possession and Nikkita Scollie was able score.
Orkney were now in the lead 27-24 but it just wasn’t the Dragon’s day and in the final minutes Charis Scott picked up a loose ball and scored her 5th try of the match. A clearance kick from Shetland Captain Katie Roe signalled the final whistle.
Final score 27-31.
A disappointing end to the League but big improvements have shown all round and there is plenty to work on towards the Cup games in March. Orkney Dragons would like to thank all their supporters, sponsors Alison Moore Designs and Sutherland’s Pharmacy. Their coaches Gary Nicolson and John Cairns as well as all the other Club members who help out. Rachel Thomson received Queen of the Team.
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