Lerwick - Saturday 2nd November 2019
Shetland Ladies 48, Orkney Dragons 12
On Saturday 2nd November the Orkney Dragons travelled up to Shetland in the second half of the Tennent's Women’s North League. Due to the nature of Loganair's winter flight timetable the journey involved flying via Aberdeen plus an overnight stay in Shetland.
With these added logistical pressures the Dragons found themselves travelling with just 2 replacements- a rather daunting prospect against a team like Shetland. However in true Orkney RFC style they arrived in good spirits ready to take on whatever the Shetland Ponies had to throw at them. Unlike Orkney that day Shetland was dry and bright but with a strong easterly wind blowing up the park.
The Dragons who have been working hard on their defence in training gave it everything they had, Donna Wilson especially, piling the pressure on Shetland’s 10 Katie Roe and forcing errors.
The game continued on at a blistering pace with very little separating the teams. A period of end to end rugby raged on but it was Shetland that were first to cross the white wash shortly followed by a second try.
The Dragons regrouped and pushed the Ponies back into their own 22 using the power and determination of the forward pack to batter the try line. Finally the Shetland dam burst and Tiphaine Cazaneve sliced through a gap in the defence to score for Orkney. The try was skilfully converted by Shaynee Moar setting the score at 12-7.
Shetland were able to score again just before half time leaving the score 17-7 going into the break.
Orkney knew their backs were firmly against the rails with no more replacements and Shetland with the advantage of wind the team were going to have to dig deep. And dig deep they did.
Every payer gave 110% and Orkney had much of the possession pushing Shetland back. Shetland clearly frustrated gave away penalty after penalty allowing the Dragons to progress up the pitch and their efforts were rewarded when Rebecca Scott using excellent support play and quick thinking to pop the ball over the line to score.
Unfortunately Shetland woke up. Using the boot and speed of their 13- Charis Scott, she was able to use the wind and kick down from the Shetland half, chase her own ball and score impressively under the posts. Charis, having scored over 30 tries for her team this season continued to punish Orkney with her kicks and the game finished at 48-12.
Although the score line may not suggest it the Orkney Dragons had put on an excellent display of rugby and should walk away with their heads held high. Queen of the Team awards went to Nickie Milne and Donna Wilson. Orkney Dragons face Inverness Craig Dunain away in the last fixture of the League on the 16th November.