Pickaquoy infield – Saturday, 19 October 2013
Orkney 30, St Andrews University 0
Early sparring was won by Orkney, but without much territorial advantage until the rangy frame of Denis Hayes emerged with the ball and headed out of the Orkney half and upfield through the St Andrews lines and into their 22. Chris Guthrie took the ball on from there and from the next attack a penalty was won and kicked to touch for a lineout 10 metres out. This set up the first try of the match, with Al Watson getting down low to avoid St Andrews tackles and stretch for the line out on the right.
After a bit of midfield to-ing and fro-ing, Orkney were again pressurising St Andrews into giving away a penalty inside their 22. Again it was kicked for the lineout on the right, five metres from the line. Orkney secured the ball and a ruck formed over towards the posts before play switched right again and Orkney probed the St Andrews line. A knock-on gave St Andrews brief respite. They kicked clear but James Linklater carried the ball back into the 22 and Orkney were again right on the line and over, but the ball was judged held up.
It was only a matter of time though, and it was again Al Watson, this time from a penalty move, who wasted no time in carrying the ball over the line to put Orkney 10-0 up still inside the first quarter.
St Andrews squandered a couple of chances up the other end, including a penalty that they ran, before Orkney broke away again through some great running from Craig Slater, Scott Russell, Alan Brown and Chris Guthrie. That was very nearly a try-scoring break, but for a knock-on at the end. However, moments later it was captain Alan Brown who did go over for Orkney’s third try and a 15-0 lead after 25 minutes, the rain back on now after a dry-ish spell.
There was a brief stoppage on the half hour as replacement PJ McGrath, who had replaced Steven Groat, came off with a cut to his right temple. The rain continued but there was no more scoring before half time, with St Andrews missing a penalty, which they kicked this time, just before the break.
Orkney were soon on the attack after the turnaround and battering at the St Andrews line in the left corner. A try five metres out gave them the chance to drive for the line again. St Andrews held out for an instant but then Alan Brown saw the opportunity to go from No8 himself and powered to the line to make it 20-0.
Overhead conditions had dried up again and the Pickaquoy Centre infield pitch was holding up well, although players said that the rain and long grass made it heavy to play on.
It wasn’t long before Orkney were in again, this time Al Watson led off the move, with James Linklater supporting and the ball finally out to Chris Guthrie, who snuck over the line wide on the left.
In the downpour that was the final quarter of the match the only addition to the scoring came through a well worked forwards try that was touched down by Erland Drever.
Although St Andrews looked threatening and determined to get a score on the board towards the end of the match, this was not to be and the students would leave pointless.
Alan Brown was named man of the match for Orkney for the third time in the season so far.
Thanks go to the ladies from sponsors NorthLink who braved the wet weather to cheer on Orkney from the touchline.
Orkney are due to make the short trip across the Pentland Firth to take on Caithness on Saturday, with the next home match against Gordonians on November 2.