Thurso, Sunday 23rd September 2018
Caithness U14s 50, Orkney U14s 59
Orkney Under 14’s met at the Hope at 7.15am to head to off for their 3rd away match in a row with the short hop to Thurso to play Caithness. A squad of 25 players headed over and with Caithness short of players the squad was rotated to provide enough players for a full match to be played. The match was played over 2 halves of 30 minutes each.
Orkney took control for the next spell and pressurised the Caithness line who gave up a number of penalties. Orkney took a short tap from one penalty and Harvey Slater supported by a number of players appeared to get over the line but the referee decided it was not grounded. Orkney kept the pressure with some good forward play led by Euan Harcus, captain for the day and Tommy Stockan. Caithness held firm but eventually the pressure told with Christy McLeod working the ball to Travis who passed to Christopher Scott who attached down the wing. Christopher was tackled in the 22 and Orkney won the ball in the ruck with the ball being passed to Travis who weaved between the retreating Caithness defence to score.
Orkney didn’t let up with some more good play with Isaac Deerness running strongly leading to Oscar running in for the next score.
Caithness fought back with some good runs from two of their strong players and a good try was scored with some fine passing stretching the Orkney defence.
Orkney came back and from a solid Orkney scrum, Lewis Kenis held back from a pass which would have been intercepted and put Alex Scarth into some space. Alex threw a dummy to run in and score which again was converted.
The game was going end to end at this point and Caithness worked the ball well with Aiden Cooper passing the ball out to Jason Scott for the two players on loan for the first half to score for Caithness.
Orkney came back and Travis ran and drew in the defence to release Alex to score. Half time followed just after with the score at Orkney 26 – 15 Caithness.
At half time the Orkney players who had went to play for Caithness came back in to the Orkney team and another six went across to Caithness.
From the restart the game ebbed and flow for a short spell before the ball was worked Travis who was now on the Caithness side and he ran in at the corner, The score was converted to close the score to 26 – 22 in Orkney’s favour.
Orkney responded well and Alex was put into some space and scored. Orkney kept the pressure on and created some space with Aiden and Jason combining again but this tie for Orkney to score. The score was no 40 – 22 to Orkney.
Caithness came back into it and scored three tries in fairly quick time with Travis getting one. This put Caithness into the lead for the first time in the match with the score now Orkney 40 – 43 Caithness. The teams were adjusted for the last time to allow some other Orkney players to play for Caithness for the Orkney coaches to see a 3rd different combination for Orkney.
Orkney fought back and worked some space with good work from the forwards with Euan again leading from the front and space was created to allow Alex to score again. Orkney kept working hard and some good play from the backs saw Travis being given the ball to outpace the defence again. Caithness fought back to score and the match was in the balance at 54 – 50 to Orkney with time running out.
Orkney kicked off and with the forwards closing down space won the ball back from Caithness and then the backs created the space to see Travis draw in the defence to give Jason the space to run in for the try to seal the game. The referee then called time with the final score 59-50 to Orkney.
A great free running game which was enjoyed by both sides. All the players played well with the team working having improved again from the previous match. The sides then headed off for some excellent hospitality from Caithness.
Thanks to the coaches, referee for an excellent game and the parents who assisted and supported the boys.
In the photo from left to right;
Back row - Mitchell Dowie, Lewis Kenis, Christopher Scott, Oscar Payne, Alex Scarth, Thorfinn Sinclair, Tommy Stockan, PJ Dempsey, Harvey Slater, Euan Harcus (cpt), Travis Davis, Jason Scott, Euan Knox.
Front row - Declan MacLeod, Isaac Deerness, Ryan Linklater, Alistair Park, Christy McLeod, Josh Shirreffs, Brogan Russell, Kadyn Harcus, Scott Craigie, Alfie Reid, Angus Brown, Aiden Cooper.