On Saturday 29th February the Orkney Dragons finished the pool stage of the National Bowl against Midlands Ladies Development Team- a newly formed team from Perthshire and Dunfermline RFC. After a visit from Storm Jorge the conditions underfoot could politely be called a quagmire but thankfully the rain had abated and sun made an appearance.
Before the action began a minutes silence was observed in memory of Perthshire RFC Captain Adam Pattinson.
Midlands were quick to set the intensity of the game proving they should not be underestimated with some good hard runs and quick off loading they pressured Orkney immediately. The ball was soon slick with mud, as were the players, and it proved tricky control.
Despite the size dominate Midlands pack Orkney’s scrum held up well with new Dragons Joanne Rendall and Molly Tait utilising their forward skills to great effect. Midlands certainly didn’t look like the travel had knocked them and it was a full 20 minutes before Emmie Smith bludgeoned her way through to score for Orkney. It was a difficult day for kicking and the try went unconverted 5-0.
Orkney Dragons kept up the momentum and attacked the Midlands offload style play and the quick action of Rebecca Scott running a slicing interception confused the opposition and Dragon’s Captain Tiff Cazaneve crossed the white wash using her speed and agility to weave through the defence. 10-0.
Shortly after Hannah Cursiter ran a crash ball and bruised her way through to score before halftime 15-0
The second half got off to a strong start and after the half time debrief Orkney began to exploit the Midlands inexperience around the ruck to regain possession of the ball . Midlands showed no sign of backing down making the Dragons work hard for every inch of the pitch but eventually after a tough rumble along their 22 Nickie Milne was able to drive over the line to score Orkneys fourth try. 20-0. Ten minutes later it was Jennifer Scott's turn for points and Shaynee Moar was able to convert 27-0.
Midlands did not let the score affect their determination and although they were continually forced to defend the made some dangerous breaks however as they tired Emmie Smith exploited gaps and twice broke away up the pitch only to be thwarted by the last defender. However on her third run she sped past them all and scored the final try of the day 32-0
Although the score line was firmly in Orkney’s favour the Midlands put up a formidable battle, playing with full enthusiasm right into the final minutes. They are most definitely a team to watch for the future. The Orkney backs put on an impressive show in atrocious conditions show casing their growth in confidence and skills. Thanks go to sponsors WB Sutherlands, Ben Eyre and Gordon Wark-coaching team and Lorraine Davidson- First Aid. Mascot for the day was Lana Baillie and our Queens of the Team were Joanne Rendall and Rebecca Scott. It was also fantastic to see the return of ex-captain Paige Archibald after the birth of baby Spencer in December.
Orkney Dragons Squad:
Sandra Davey, Florence Ungaro, Shauna Malcolm, Joanne Rendall, Jennifer Scott, Molly Tait, Laura Baillie, Emmie Smith, Charlene Nicolson, Donna Wilson, Alison Marwick, Hannah Cursiter, Rebecca Scott, Shaynee Moar, Tiphaine Cazenave, Nicole Work, Paige Archibald, Ailsa Drever, Shell Pennington, Jo Inkster, Sara Duffy, Nickie Milne
Contacts & Location