BT Caledonia League Division 1
Pickaquoy Outfield - Saturday, September 6
ORKNEY RFC 50, MACKIE ACADEMY 21
Orkney RFC will be up for a second home win on the trot as they host Morgan Academy at Pickaquoy tomorrow, Saturday, with a 3pm kick-off.
For the BT Caledonia League Division 1 side kicked off the 2014-15 season in fairly solid style last weekend, recording an – in the end - decisive 50-21 victory over well-known rivals Mackie Academy.
Although this weekend’s visitors cuffed Ellon 66-7 at home on the same day, Orkney, having had one of their better starts to a league campaign over recent years, should still go into tomorrow’s clash with confidence following last week’s performance.
It was a twin-engined opening to Orkney’s season as Marcus and Chris Guthrie led off the try-scoring exploits. The pair combined for the former to score the opener and then Chris got on the end of a great attacking move to go over for the second of the season, keeping things in the family. Graham Poke, who had seen his first conversion attempt come back off the post, slotted the second for a 12-0 lead coming up for 20 minutes.
Mackie were right up the other end on the attack and into the Orkney 22, but a penalty for holding on saw Orkney move things back into midfield and a lineout gave the home side a quick break that they turned into a scoring opportunity that saw Marcus Guthrie going in for a second try, with Poke kicking cleanly again for a 19-0 lead.
The talk from the Orkney ranks as they lined up for the restart was of another quick score. It did come quickly, but unfortunately it came for the visitors on the half hour, with their No8 going over for a converted try after some good forward pressure in the Orkney 22.
Orkney had time to reply before the end of the first half though, in a move started by Denis Hayes coming through on the left, feeding inside to Philip Ross and then out right to Marcus and then Chris Guthrie and back inside before Alan Brown went over. Poke’s conversion made it 26-7.
Despite Mackie pressure late in the half this was how it remained at the turnaround.
Orkney opened the second 40 minutes brightly enough, with Marcus Guthrie scoring his hat trick of tries but injuring his right hamstring in the process. James Linklater – on for the second half, missed the conversion to leave things at 31-7.
Orkney might have been in again but were forced back from an attack on the Mackie line and had a lineout awarded against them, despite a question of offside from the visitors.
A squint put-in gave Orkney lineout ball and this turned out to be Orkney’s last scoring chance for a while as Mackie came into their game and pushed into the Orkney half, almost breaking the defence right away and then having a second bite.
Orkney lost Aly Linklater to a sin bin – apparently for something he said that the referee heard – during this period, but it didn’t really impact on them.
The visitors were left to ponder missed chances when Craig Slater – who was having a great game on the right wing – burst through for a deserved breakaway try. It went unconverted to stretch the home side’s lead to 36-7 just as Aly Linklater came back on.
Mackie were not down and out though, and they scored a couple of converted tries for no reply in a spell that Orkney seemed to vacate in terms of defending and communicating effectively. By the time the visitors scored their second – for a 36-21 scoreline - the talk was of securing a bonus point to take home.
However, it was Orkney who replied with Alan Brown getting his second try, this time converted for 43-21 with a great forward assault before he broke free to score under the posts.
Orkney’s almost decisive performance was rounded off with a confident bit of interchange in front of the posts – after a Craig Slater break, feeding to Philip Ross - which saw Chris Guthrie offload at the last minute for Sean Cursiter to go over under the posts. The conversion made it a half century of points for the home side – a solid start to the season.
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