On Sunday 5th December a squad of 15 still depleted by injuries and illness headed for Inverness to once again take on Highland with a player making his debut for the team, Dylan Price.
On a bright day the format was again for Orkney to play the Greens and Whites then perhaps, time permitting a shorter game against a combined side.
Mini Game 1 – Highland Greens v Orkney
The game started with ebb and flow between the two sides. The forwards did some impressive early drives with Thorfinn Sinclair, Alfie Copland, Angus Dougall, and Alastair Park in particular making some impressive dents in the Highland defence supported well by Scott Craigie, Ryan Linklater and James Braddock. There were rucks and counter rucks with both sides winning the ball back from each other. On a Highland break down their left wing Robbie Adamson made a crucial interception and raced onto the attack supported by Scott and Tommy Stockan but unfortunately Highland recovered to close down the attack.
Highland were proving tough opposition but when Orkney had the ball they were making good ground and looking dangerous. Jake Ross and Tommy were making some strong tackles in the middle of the park.
Orkney kept fighting for the ball and then the forwards made some strong driving runs with Thorfinn, Alfie, Dougall and Alastair all driving strongly with Christy MacLeod picking his moment to drive over for the opening try. Alex Scarth converted.
Highland kicks off and Christy takes the ball with Orkney rolling through the rucks with the forwards working strongly again. The ball is moved from Alex to Jake and on to William who charges through brushing off tackles to score. Highland 0 – 12 Orkney.
Highland looked dangerous with the ball but Orkney will the ball were driving well. On one occasion with the forwards setting a strong platform again Alex ran through but scrambled Highland defence saved a try.
Highland were starting to attack more frequently but tackling from Jake, Dylan Price, Tommy and Christie were holding them back. On break Highland swept forward to the left and then broke back to the right. With players bearing down at speed Ryan Slater was bounced off but showing great determination bounced straight back off to attempt the tackle, managing to slow down the attack enough for a covering defence of Tommy supported by Alex and Jake to stop the attack.
Highland started to break through more frequently and then from a break find a hole in the Orkney defence and score which was converted.
Orkney started to fall off on the tackles and were not quite so coherent and Highland took a chance to score breaking through some weak Orkney tackling.
With time running out Orkney attacked and were making some good inroads. There was some good play between Christy, Alex and Tommy which found some gaps in the Highland defence but frantic defending kept Orkney at bay.
From a Highland clearance kick Tommy field the ball well and made a strong run breaking several tackles with Christy in support. Unfortunately Tommy couldn’t make the pass to Christy and held onto the ball. Trying them to offload to other supporting players Highland recaptured the ball and the last chance of the match was gone with the final whistle blowing.
Final Score Highland 14 – 12 Orkney.
Mini Game 2 Highland Whites v Orkney
Highland tails were up and Orkney’s heads had dropped. With the coaches trying to get the players to lift their heads and forgot about the loss to the Greens the game started fairly evenly.
When Orkney drove the ball and moved it they looked dangerous but were looking less sure in defence with the line not being as strong as it could be. The forwards were having a right tussle with the Whites forwards and Ryan Linklater stole a good ball from one of the rucks. The usual hard running forwards were trying to break down the Whites defence and made ground. The backs stopped some attacks with Jake, Alex, Robbie and Tommy all making good contributions. On one Highland break William and Ryan Linklater combined to make a crunching tackle into touch to snuff out the attack.
From a Highland clearance kick Robbie took a good catch, moved infield and passed to Tommy who took on a few players and found Christie who moved it onto Dougall. It was worked forward and then Alex found a gap down the wing running over the try line. In attempting to make the conversion easier and bringing it closer to the posts the ball was knocked on in the moment of scoring due to the pressure of the Highland defence.
Highland started pressurising and scored two fairly quick tries with one converted.
Orkney regrouped, winning the ball and then William made another strong run to score.
Final score Whites 19-5 Orkney.
Mini Game 3 Highland v Orkney
A short 10 minute game to end the sequence was agreed. Highland’s tails were up and managed to score 2 quick tries. Orkney however still looked dangerous in attack and when getting together were still making good ground. Tommy made some breaks supported by Alex and Christy with the forwards joining in. From one of these attacks Alex managed to score. Highland scored two quick tries with one of them their try their pick of the match with a “jackled” steal of the ball and a good attack to score a well worked move.
Final score Highland 22 – 5 Orkney.
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