After discussion with the Granite City coaches and to ensure players had as much game time as possible it was agreed to have 4 sides, 2 from Orkney and 2 from Granite City.
This resulted in a 4 teams of 12 with the Orkney sides receiving 2 guest players in each team. The format was round robin each team playing each other in games of 20 minutes and all teams playing at the same time on the two adjacent pitches.
It was a chilly but sunny Saturday at Aberdeen Wanderers ground which was being used for the Under 14’s matches
Whites started strongly with strong runs and excellent passing play with Christy McLeod, Aiden Cooper, Brogan Russell and Euan Knox all involved.
Sammy Laughton and Angus Brown were making strong tackles to help defend when the Greens were in possession.
The first try was a strong passing move started inside the Whites half with Brogan creating space for Aiden to make a good run who then passed on to Euan who strongly ran through the defence passing to Christy who shrugged off the last defenders to score.
Granite City worked an excellent move to nearly score but the Orkney defence held and managed to force a knock on almost on their try line with Finlay Waterston, James Braddock, Sammy and the rest of the team making strong defensive tackles.
Shortly afterwards a strong run from Thorfinn Sinclair who brushed aside 3 defenders before Brogan ran an excellent supporting line and ran in from just outside the 22 to make it 12-0 at half time with one of the tries being converted.
The second half started with Brogan popping a tap penalty to Euan who ran through 3 defenders to score a try. Alistair Park finished off an excellent move involving most of the team and Brogan finished off the scoring with another try created with another excellent back move and a great supporting line. Final score 31 – 0.
Orkney Whites: Back row (left to right) - Sammy Laughton, Aiden Cooper, Euan Knox, Thorfinn Sinclair, Alastair Park, Louis (guest plater from Granite C), Ray Knox
Front row – (left to right) Finlay Waterston, Christy McLeod, Brogan Russell (captain), Angus Brown, Finn (guest plater from Granite C), James Braddock.
Strong tackles from Tommy Stockan, Angus Dougall, Declan MacLeod and Isaac Deerness held the Blues. The Yellows worked some good back moves with Alex Scarth playing the ball to Alex Thomson eventually resulting in Tommy scoring a well worked move.
Ryan Linklater was unlucky to have worked himself into a good position and driving over to score what looked like a hard earned try but the referee ruled it as held up.
The match ebbed and flowed with the Yellows and Blues exchanging tries. Alex Scarth scored three and Tommy added another with good work from Will Brass, Bruce Swanston and Scott Craigie. Yellows won 25-10.
Orkney Yellows: Back row (left to right) –Bruce Swanson, Alex Thomson, Tommy Stockan, Declan MacLeod (captain), Alex Scarth, Angus Dougall.
Front row – left to right – Daniel and Michael (both guest platers from Granite C), Ryan Linklater, Scott Craigie, Isaac Deerness, Will Brass
The players fell off their tackles in this game but there was a lot of close quarter contact and both teams struggled to make their pressure turn into points.
Alastair Park made some excellent plays with the Whites, with Brogan, Euan, Aiden, Christy, Thorfinn and Sammy all trying to drive forward and create space. Isaac, Declan, Tommy, Ryan, Angus Dougall, Scott and Alex were doing the same for the Yellows.
The Yellows struck first with a well worked play involving Will, Decaln, Alex Scarth and passing onto Tommy who shrugged off the defence to score. The Whites struck back and drove into the Yellow half with Finlay, Angus Brown and the rest all involved.
Aiden injured his hand and had to leave the field. The Whites with a man down still drove hard and a well worked move put Christy into space who scored making it 7-5 to the Yellows at half time.
The Whites received a spare Granite City player to start the second half with 12 players. The second half was played mostly in the middle of the pitch with all the players defending well and preventing either side from scoring. Towards the end the Yellows managed to work the ball into space and created room for Isaac to break free and score.
The game finished 14 – 5 to the Yellows but in truth there was nothing between the sides.
All of the players played well with special mention to Scott Craigie, Bruce Swanson and Declan MacLeod for some strong play. The final score was a win for the Yellows 20 – 10 to leave them unbeaten on the day.
The Whites finished playing against the Blues in a close match especially in the first half. Tries by Brogan (2), Finlay and Christy resulted in a 24 – 12 win after it being 14-12 at half time.
The pick of the tries was for Finlay who broke 2 tackles and ran in from 25 / 30 metres to score his first try of the season. All of the Whites contributed to the team effort and well deserved the win.
The matches were all excellent with every Orkney player contributing well.
Orkney Whites: Coaches Players were 1st Christy McLeod, 2nd Euan Knox, 3rd Alastair Park and Players Player was Christy McLeod. S1 Player was Sammy Laughton.
Orkney Yellows Coaches Players were 1st Tommy Stockan, 2nd Declan MacLeod, 3rd Alex Thomson. Players Player was Alex Scarth. S1 Player was Alex Thomson
Ray would like to thank Jeff and Bruce for their coaching support, Granite City for the excellent hosting and Northlink Ferries for their continuing support.