Pickaquoy, Saturday 20th October 2018
Orkney RFC 34, Carrick RFC 26
If you were neutral about the game of rugby, or not sure it was a game that you could interest you, last Saturday’s game at Pickaquoy could have changed your mind, as it was a game to enthuse anyone who enjoys sport and competition.
From first to last this was a competitive game and a pulsating encounter played by two teams going all out for a win, and nobody in the fair sized crowd left before the final whistle, unless they had a ferry to catch.
No sooner had the first whistle sounded to start the game when Orkney were on the attack and, following a few good phases, Stephen MacPhail crashed over the Carrick line to put Orkney in front by 5-0
Orkney kept up the pressure and Alex Kansour broke tackles and set up a good position which led to Cameron Gray going over to make the score 10-0 after only 16 minutes had been played.
There were murmurings of a cricket score and bonus points amongst the crowd. Ah, but nothing could be further from the truth, as Carrick shook themselves down and launched attacks of their own that resulted in two penalty kicks against the home team which thankfully were both missed – one narrowly and the other hitting the post – so the score remained at 10-0 to Orkney.
Taking the warning from these near things Orkney applied further pressure and fine phased play led to yet another try for the home team finished off by the ever willing runner, Matt Jackson, to make it 15-0.
Again though the try was not converted and some folk wondered if the loss of these 6 points could be crucial in the final analysis – and so it proved!
Nerves started jangling when Carrick ran in two tries in 30 minutes. Brydon crossed the line and then in 37 minutes the very impressive Fulton, who not only got the try but converted it, and had a very fine game throughout, making the halftime score 15-14 to the home team.
After halftime Orkney were reinvigorated and after good work by the pack Bale (Alistair Linklater) scored a try with 48 minutes played to take make it
20-14 in favour of Orkney.
However, in this compelling and end to end game back came Carrick with a third try in 50 minutes through Logan, this time unconverted, to make the score 20-19.
That seemed to galvanise the Orkney squad once more and now the bench made a significant impact with Kevin Sinclair and Erland Drever joining the front row alongside Scott Rendall in place of the excellent Bale and Gary Nicolson, and the power Orkney put on the Carrick scrum just multiplied and resulted in Scott getting his try in the 68th minute, which this time was converted by Adam Watt to make the score 27-19 in Orkney’s favour.
Adam was called into action again in the 75th minute after good combination play by the backs and forwards gave MacPhail his second try of the day which Adam converted to stretch the score in Orkney’s favour to 34 – 19
However, not to be completely outdone, Carrick mounted a last minute attack which resulted in their fourth try of the day and securing them a well deserved bonus point as the final whistle blew on a 34-26 win for Orkney.
In the end the missed conversions didn’t affect the final result but it could have helped the nerves for Orkney to be further ahead in this game, and it should be borne in mind that MacPhail made a magnificent try saving tackle on the Orkney line when Carrick were pressing hardest.
All that said a proud captain, Scott Rendall, had every right to say that the whole squad had performed superbly and that he was “pleased with the positive attitude in the squad at present. Couple that with everyone enjoying the training and effort that Derek Robb and Garry Coltherd are putting in, alongside good game plans, and we look forward to our key game next Saturday against bottom side, Haddington RFC, with optimism.”
“We always welcome new and/or returning players at training which takes place every Tuesday and Thursday nights” (details on the ORFC website)