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Orkney captain delighted with winning start to new campaign; Highland aim to bounce back

The islanders lead the way in National Three with 14 points from a possible 15.

Orkney RFC in action
Orkney (red and white) in action against Gordonians at Countesswells. Image: Paul Glendell DC Thomson

Orkney are on the road to Edinburgh tomorrow for their National Three top of the table clash with Boroughmuir.

The teams will meet in an intriguing clash at Meggetland with Orkney currently leading the way on points difference with both on 14 points out of a possible 15 from three games.

Orkney have seen off West of Scotland, Howe of Fife and Preston Lodge to date, a last-gasp try and conversion helping them to get the better of the latter at Pickaquoy last time out.

Willie Thomson, Darren McLean and Owen Griffith scored tries versus Preston Lodge with Connor Hancock kicking 13 points.

Orkney RFC skipper ‘extremely proud’

Orkney skipper Liam Moar said:  “It was an excellent team performance, I’m extremely proud of what we were able to accomplish last weekend.

“Preston Lodge were a challenging opposition and overcoming them proved difficult with it going down to the last play of the game.

“We’re now focusing on the away fixture to Boroughmuir.”

Carson’s men look to bounce back

In National One, Highland are looking to get back to winning ways after their poorest performance of the season so far away at GHA last weekend.

They are now fourth in the table on 10 points and are hosting sixth-placed GHK, also on 10 points, at Canal Park in what looks like it is going to be a very tight division.

Highland will be missing Grant Jamieson through a calf injury, but Sean Blair returns after a dislocated shoulder to likely take up a spot in the second-row and that is a big boost.

Rory Mighton is also available as are Adrui Mirotoki and Timoci Waqanibau.

“We haven’t become a bad team overnight, so the boys just need to get back to what they are good at while it is good to be back at Canal Park in front of our home support,” Highland head coach Dave Carson said.

Highland head coach Dave Carson
Highland head coach Dave Carson. Image: DC Thomson.

Aberdeen Grammar’s search for a first National Two win of the campaign takes them to Newton Stewart.

Grammar are currently ninth in the table and Newton Stewart sixth and ahead of the long road trip the Rubislaw outfit’s head coach Eric Strachan said:  “With the Rugby World Cup having an effect, it’ll be a much-changed squad that will head south.

“The lads put in a solid performance last week [in the 34-22 home reverse to Lasswade], but we felt we didn’t get the rewards.

“Attitudes are spot on and what we are working on in training is starting to be applied on the pitch and I believe a win isn’t far away.

“Newton Stewart will be a tricky proposition on their own patch, but we may surprise them.”

Grammar welcome back Peter Gaston, Youssef Salem and Ben Garwood for this one.

Gordonians coach looking forward to travelling to Stirling

In the same division, Gordonians have taken 10 points from 10 in the last two weeks to sit fourth in the standings ahead of a trip to Bridgehaugh to face Stirling County.

County defeated Grammar on the opening day and are fifth in the table, just below Gordonians on points difference.

“There are no major changes and we look set to travel with a settled squad all being well,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice said.

“Following two good wins at home we look forward to heading to Stirling for what should be a good competitive game.

“We need to make sure we can capitalise on our moments in the game and keep on the right side of the penalty count to give ourselves a chance of getting the right result.”

There are no local teams in Caledonia One North Conference action this time around in a slimmed down fixture card.

Garioch are in Women’s Premiership action though and they welcome last year’s champions Stirling County to Kellands Park.

The Inverurie outfit are bottom of the table with two points and no wins from their first five fixtures of 2023-24.

Head coach Dave Duguid said: “We are really looking forward to the game, results haven’t gone our way, but we can see improvements every game, especially in attack.

“We have 32 players available for the weekend which I think is the highest we have ever had in this league, making my life very hard in terms of selection.”