Oakmill, Tillicoutry - Saturday, April 11, 2015
Hillfoots RFC 12, Orkney RFC 39
Orkney RFC beat Hillfoots 39-12 in Tillicoutry to secure the BT Caledonia League Division 1 title and promotion to BT National League Division 3.
Orkney led 34-9 at half time in the 11am fixture, with No8 Alan Brown leading off the scoring in an opening 40 minutes that saw the islanders cross the line six times to secure the bonus point needed to ensure success on the day.
Hillfoots is a notoriously difficult place to go and achieve a result, and the Orkney squad were fully aware that they would have to be at that best to achieve the results required.
Cheered on by a significant travelling support, outnumbering home spectators, Orkney made a very promising start to the match. They used the sloped pitch to their full advantage as half backs Taylor Pilkington-Tait and James Linklater pinned the Hillfoots side deep in their own territory.
Orkney's forwards launched themselves into the game, with strong carries from captain Adam Baird, Scott Rendall and Adam Brown making great inroads into the Hillfoots defence. The home side struggled to deal with the force of the Orkney pack and from a perfectly executed lineout catch and drive No8 Brown dotted down for his first try of the afternoon.
The first half continued along this theme as the Orkney players imposed there physical style of play on this key encounter. Further tries followed as Brown added a further three to take his tally to 14 for the season. Denis Hayes made a fantastic break through the middle to release Jon Tait to add a further score for the rampant islanders.
With the bonus point secured, the clear message at half time was to continue to play with an intensity and not allow the Hillfoots team back into the game at all.
Hillfoots began the second half brightly, and with their fly half using his fantastic kicking abilities to great effect Orkney struggled to get out of their own half for long periods. One positive during this passage of play was Orkney's tenacious defence, which ensured that Hillfoots never crossed the try line, with all of their points coming courtesy of the boot of their fly half.
As the game wore on the result became inevitable, and the Orkney side desperately tried to raise their game to finish of the match in style. This was achieved as hooker Scott Rendall powered over In the corner to finish off the scoring and spark the start of huge celebration as the Orkney players and supporters enjoyed what was a very special occasion for all involved in the club.
The final score was Hillfoots 12, Orkney 39.
As captain Baird was presented with the BT Caledonia League Division 1 trophy by the SRU, the celebrations began.
He said: "The Orkney team would like to thank all their sponsors, committee members and supporters who have all contributed to the success on the field this year.
"This coming Saturday Orkney round off their league campaign with an away match at Strathmore. Orkney have never managed a victory in Forfar, and I am sure the players are wanting to finish a very successful year on a high with a victory prior to starting their adventure in National Division 3 next season."