St Andrews, Sunday 26 April 2015
Aberdeen Grammar U18s 22, Orkney U18s 19
Orkney Rugby Clubs under 18 squad travelled down to Madras RFC in St Andrews with a strong squad of 19 boys. Unfortunately a hand full of players were carrying injuries or knocks from previous games. This combined with the long journey down was going to make the game difficult.
The game was played as an early kick off at 11 o’clock to allow the team to get back to Aberdeen for the evening boat. It was played at a fast pace from the start as the weather made it perfect for running Rugby.
Orkney replied almost instantly winning a scrum on the 10 metre line, the forwards consistently scrummaged well all game. From the scrum a set piece move saw Fergus McIvor break through the line he linked up well with Sam Croy who sprinted into the corner to tie up the game at five all the conversion being missed.
The first half then began to even itself out however it was clear that with the teams work throughout the season, the forwards line outs and scrums were highly effective, this being beneficial to the possession Orkney had during the game.
After 33 minutes, Orkneys continuous pressure resulted in Cameron Gray scoring after several pick and goes from the forwards. Taylor Pilkington Tait kicked the conversion giving Orkney the lead 12-5 this remained the score until half time.
Orkney kicked off the second half however it was Grammar who started the half the stronger team. This was proved by Grammar scoring two tries in quick succession despite the strong tackling from James Nicolson and Craig Stout 17-12 to Grammar.
Orkney upped their game; even with the back line having to change due to the injuries of the inside centre Ciaran Drever and the full back Sam Croy. This led to Taylor Pilkington Tait and Fergus McIvor running with the ball more and making many line-breaks.
From two penalties one after the other given away by Grammar, Mark Sinclair took advantage of this and with some quick witted thinking took a quick tap and scored underneath the post, the conversion being successful giving Orkney a 19-17 lead.
This lead did not last long, with grammar scoring a try out wide making the score 22-19 with eight minutes to go.
After sustained pressure by Orkney we were very unlucky not to add to the scoreboard, this making the final score 22-19 to Aberdeen Grammar.
The Orkney squad were devastated not to win but realised they couldn’t be disappointed with their performance. The man of the match went to Cameron Gray, who turned over a lot of ball during the game and as usual ran strongly.
With this being the last game of the season there is a lot of thanks and congratulations in order. First of all to our manager Les Howard who has put in a huge commitment to the under 18s and made it all possible, secondly Bruce Pilkington and Adrian Askew who have given up countless hours of their time to coach and support us. Also to our DO Tom Hughes who has made a big difference in a short space of time.
Finally to the team who have made it a season to remember and shown a strong future for the under 18s next season.
Report by Taylor Pilkington Tait and Cameron Gray.