Saltire Energy Caledonia Youth Shield U16 Final
Orkney RFC U16s v Dundee Rugby
Sheddocksley Sports Centre, Aberdeen
Sunday 1 May 2022
A 21 player squad headed off to Aberdeen on Saturday for the Saltire Energy Caledonia Youth Shield U16 Final against Dundee Rugby. This promised to the toughest game of the season for the squad against a strong conference team.
Orkney were putting pressure on Dundee resulting in errors from Dundee. The forwards made some headway driving into the Dundee defence getting close to the Dundee line before losing the ball. Orkney pressurised Dundee and forced a goal line drop out. Orkney kept the pressure on and drove again close to the Dundee line. From one of these rucks Christie MacLeod passed to Alex Scarth who delivered a great pass to Brogan Russell to score. Alex converted for Orkney to lead 7-5.
The forwards continued to work hard with driving runs from Thorfinn Sinclair and Declan MacLeod in particular. The battle for possession remained fierce and Dundee built up some steam working multiple phases to score again. This took Dundee into a 10-7 lead.
Dundee struggled to get their line out functioning and Orkney were awarded a number of scrums from those line outs. James Braddock and Sammy Laughton made some good tackles within the Orkney 22 aided by Angus Robertson preventing a Dundee try.
Dundee kept pressurising the Orkney line but the whole team worked hard to keep them out with William MacDonald making some tackles and Alistair Park and Alex holding the ball up over the line to prevent the try.
With Christy marshalling the forwards Orkney tried to ease the pressure but the game was being played within the Orkney half. Tommy Stockan was making some strong runs from Centre and from one of those runs the ball was kicked through by Orkney and from a ruck close to the line Orkney nearly scored through Alex.
Orkney now had a period of pressure in the Dundee half and kept it on. A number of times good drives got close. Then from a scrum 5 metres out Christy played it quickly to Alex who ran in while being tackled to score then converting his own try. The score now Dundee 10 – 14 Orkney.
From the restart Orkney secured the ball and went through some rucks but then Dundee intercepted an Orkney pass and ran in for the score which was converted right on the half time whistle.
Dundee now led 17-10 at the break.
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Match video from the U16 final. Thanks to George Brown (Rohallion) on YouTube for travelling with the teams this season- please give him a like & subscribe.
In the second half Dundee started strongly and Orkney defended well with tackles from Angus Brown, Sammy, Euan Knox, Tommy, Christy, Scott Craigie and Brogan with strong rucking from the forwards.
From the restart Dundee kicked out and from the scrum Orkney attacked. However the ball was lost in attack and from the counter attack Dundee had Orkney in trouble. Brogan made a last ditch tackle and William in trying to help defend went in too high with his tackle and received a yellow card.
With Orkney down to 14 players Dundee took the line out and drove over the line for a try. With Orkney down to the 14 players for the next 10 minutes Dundee took full advantage and ran in a number of tries.
Dundee playing at a higher level in the conference system and with more games played took the game and the Shield with a final score of Orkney 14 – Dundee 57.
Orkney did not give up and all the squad tried hard to stem the flow of tries and counter attack themselves. The forwards all worked hard trying to gain forward momentum with Alfie Copland, Thorfinn, Angus Dougall, Sammy, Euan and Alistair Parkinson working really hard. Christy and Alex, Tommy and Brogan tried to launch counter attacks with Angus Brown, Tyler Wolstenholme and Scott Craigie all covering and tackling well.
Of the 21 players in the squad 20 obtained game time with the exception being Will Brass who had a tight hamstring and couldn’t be risked.
Although the final score was against Orkney the coaches are all really proud of the effort and skill sets shown. The first half showed this team belongs at this level and just need more games against this quality of opposition to develop further.
We would like to thank all the players for their efforts this season and thanks to the coaches for their commitment over the course of the season, Ray Knox, Bruce Sinclair and Jeffrey Dougall.
We would also like to thank Pentland Ferries, Dunnetts Coaches, Maynes Coaches and Northlink Ferries for their support as the squad travelled somewhere around 2,500 miles this season. Also thanks to Holiday Inn for their hospitality the night before the final which enabled a well-rested team to perform to their best.
Back row (left to right): Dylan Price, Ryan Linklater, William MacDonald, Alex Scarth, Tommy Stockan, Thorfinn Sinclair, Alfie Copland, Angus Dougall, Declan MacLeod, Angus Robertson.
Centre with Trophy: Christy Macleod (cpt)
Front row: (left to right: Sammy Laughton, Alastair Park, Euan Knox, Scott Craigie, Tyler Wolstenholme, Brogan Russell, Angus Brown, Ryan Slater, James Braddock and Will Brass.
Under 18 Plate Final Moray/Huntly V The North.
The North team was set up this season to make sure the Under 18 players from Orkney, Caithness and Ross Sutherland Rugby Clubs could get game time before the moving into senior rugby. For the Plate Final 10 players set out from Orkney to take part in the fixture.
The fixture started well for the North who score the first try through Sean Johnston (Caithness RFC) diving over in the corner.
After half time The North took the lead through an Erik Llewellyn try under the post converted by Owen Corr (both Ross Sutherland RFC) for the North to take a 17 to 10 lead.
Muntly drew level and took the lead with 2 tries, to take the game 22 to 17.
However, the North team having had limited game time and opportunities gave a strong performance and are a credit to their clubs and coaches.
From an Orkney perspective this season saw 4 of the Boys make their 1st XV debut and earn several caps for them. Also, with a small group staying at under 18 this next season, Orkney Under 18s will look to only get stronger.
We must thank our sponsors Northlink ferries, Pentland ferries, Maynes Coaches and Dunnetts transport and finally the Holiday Inn for the accommodation the night before the fixture.
The North squad was made up of-
Orkney RFC - James Donohoe (captain), Connor Macleod, Jacob Heal, Justin Pizon, Ewan Stevenson, Omar Mcmahon, Oscar Payne, Alfie Foulis, Conal King and Euan Harcus
Caithness RFC - Kyle Leavesley, Liam Flavell, William Oag, Sam Gallacher and Sean Johnston
Ross Sutherland RFC - Erik Llewellyn, Owen Corr, Michael O’Reilly and Jamie Munro