The day started with a 6:30am ferry to Scrabster, grateful thanks go to Darren McGee for organising the travel, and to ORFC for their financial support once again, keeping individual costs down for 50 children and 10 coaches heading over. With some bleary eyed travellers we were spoiled with breakfast sponsorship from Scottish Sea Farms, which was well received and set up the troops for the long day ahead, fantastic generosity from them for this.
Within these numbers of travelling bairns from East, Kirkwall and West they came together to represent Orkney as united front and excelled the expectations of the day. Orkney A in the P6/7 group charged through the rounds coming out victorious overall with a 5-0 gritty final against Highland A, with unconceded try scores across the entire day. We were proud to give huge congratulations to them for their efforts to win their age group rounds with such conviction.
Four teams entered at P6/7 level where each team supported each other, on and off the pitch, with a chorus of 'Lets go Orkney lets go' being heard regularly from the side lines. In all the Orkney teams the backs who were strong and accurate in their endeavours and the forwards were slick, swift and determined to get across that try line, a great display of skills and team work in our Orkney contingency. The opposition teams were tough, organised and played hard rugby, with each team having some noticeable players with a real tactical head for rugby and the legs for pace to keep us on our toes, making each try a victory for the teams.
The successes of the day did not end here, 2 Orkney teams stood hard and fast in our Rookies category of P4/5s and once again Orkney A came out on top in the round robin of group action, also undefeated in their matches. The improvement and determination from the younger group shows great promise for the future of Orkney Rugby, well done to these little legends.
We can say with confidence that the volunteer coaches, parents and the Orkney Development team who all make the junior level of Orkney rugby happen, should be very pleased with these bairns. Their integration with domestic teams for these opportunities brings all the children together and their behaviour and respect for the group, organisers and on this occasion Northlink Ferries, whilst on tour, was fantastic.
A massive thank you must be said to Caithness Rugby FC for the invite, their referee skills, organisation of the tournament and the outstanding hospitality on the day. We were blown away by the 20 degree sunshine they ordered in specially for us, the excellent food and drinks on offer and the use of clubhouse facilities until leaving for the boat again at night.
We wish a well earned rest over the summer to all and especially to the P7s who will transition into the next level of their rugby career together and to the excitement of the young guns coming up next season!
Report: Lorna Thomson
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