Pickaquoy Infield - Saturday, 17 January 2015
Orkney RFC 89, Ellon RFC 0
Eight tries in the first half and seven in the second saw Orkney RFC beat Ellon comprehensively at a wintry Pickaquoy on Saturday.
The win sent the home side top of Caledonia League Division 1 again, with the top-two clash between Glenrothes and Gordonians joining the remainder of the fixtures in the division as victims of the weather.
With their match kicking off at 11.30am - to fit in with Ellon's return flight south - Orkney had secured their try bonus before we even made it into the afternoon. Phil Ross was over for the first of his three tries inside the first minute, converted by James Linklater for an early 7-0 lead. Although Orkney's kicker had a few frustrating conversion attempts he added a further six during the match.
Phil Ross had his second try with a great run up the left in the eighth minute, with the bonus coming in the 12th. This was Alan Brown's second - another pushover for Orkney's solid pack, but this time after winning a scrum against the head next to the posts.
Ellon did have a spell when they got into their stride and there was a bit of a midfield battle as they sought to build some attacks themselves. However, their day was summed up when their full back tried to run the ball out of his half only to be dispossed on his 10 metre line, from which Orkney ran in another try - Sean Cursiter setting man of the match Marcus Guthrie up for the first of his hat-trick of tries in the remainder of the first half. Scott Rendall also went over during this period, and Orkney turned round 46-0 up.
It was the forwards that created the first try of the second 40 minutes, with veteran Kevin Sinclair touching down in the 45th minute after some determined probing at the line from Orkney.
William Thomson was next on the scoresheet, and then a great run from Alan Brown saw him loop a pass to David Hamilton to send him over the line.
The well-wrapped crowd of around 200 were enjoying this high-scoring match and many also appreciated the warming refreshments being poured by sponsors Lows Orkney. The drinks came in handy to toast all the tries, not least Marcus Guthrie's fourth of the match - an artistic dive between the posts to give James Linklater a fairly straightforward conversion kick, which made it 70-0, still inside the third quarter.
This signalled Ellon to make what was pretty much their first visit to the Orkney 22 of the match, threatening the Orkney line. The home defence stood firm though and Orkney worked it out of the 22 and only a tap tackle stopped Marcus Guthrie setting off up the right wing.
An injury stop for an Ellon player added some time on towards the end of the match, and after the restart the visitors were back on the Orkney line seeking some points from their flying visit. "No tries!" was the shout from Orkney captain Adam Baird though.
So it was that, as the biting Westerly wind - which had dropped for a while during the match - blew up again and brought a smattering of hail with it, the only additional points came for the home side, with Phil Ross completing his hat-trick before William Thomson rounded things off to bring the final score to 89-0.
Next weekend Orkney are due to travel the short distance across the Pentland Firth to Thurso for the return match with their oldest opponents Caithness, who are currently lying seventh. The league leaders should have a strong travelling support, with Rodney Spence having designated this his President's Trip for the season.