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Rugby: Orkney maintain perfect start; Highland come from behind to defeat Dundee

A 36-10 win against Cartha Queens Park continues Orkney's superb start to the season.

Orkney head coach Garry Coltherd. Rugby.
Orkney team manager Garry Coltherd. Image: Kenny Elrick/DC Thomson.

Orkney were dancing an eightsome reel on Saturday evening after they came from behind to defeat Cartha Queens Park and make it eight National Three wins from eight.

Cartha travelled with a big support and their team responded at Pickaquoy and went in at half-time 10-8 to the good.

However, this Orkney squad is made of strong stuff and they turned it on in the second period to come out on top 36-10 with a bonus point.

The result leaves them second in the table and unbeaten and they are just three points behind leaders Preston Lodge with a game in hand.

Orkney team manager Garry Coltherd said:  “The large travelling support really fired Cartha up for the game and in the first half they outplayed us.

“Our half-time chat was about upping the tempo and shortly after the break we scored a converted try to take the lead for the first time which settled us down.

“With a half hour to go we made several changes and this helped to put us on the front foot, some excellent carriers by the forwards giving us the attacking platform that we lacked in the first half.

“Our fitness was also a factor in the latter stages and it was a good win.”

Try scorers for Orkney were Craig Slater, Alistair Linklater, Scott Russell, Jon Tait and Niall Campbell with Connor Hancock kicking four conversions and one penalty.

Hodge impresses on Highland debut

Highland are second in National One after they too came from behind to get the better of Dundee Rugby with a bonus point.

Dundee started well at Canal Park and led 12-7 at one point in the first half before Highland found two tries to lead 19-12 at the interval.

Similar to Orkney, they found another gear in the second period and came out on top 38-12.

Highland RFC head coach Dave Carson. Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson. 

“Like against Glasgow Accies the previous week, we let in an early try and in the first 20 minutes or so we never really got going and credit to Dundee they capitalised on that,” Highland head coach Dave Carson said.

“The two tries to put us ahead at the break gave everyone a lift and then in the second half we played more like how we know we can.

“The battling qualities shown by the boys was pleasing as was the first team debut for teenage prop Lochlan Hodge.

“With Stuart Watson picking up an injury, Lochlan came on quite early, but he grew into the game and for a youngster he did really well and it was great to see.”

Adriu Muritoki, Magnus Henry and Hugo Crush scored the first half tries with co-captain Scott Fraser converting two.

In the second 40 minutes, Callum Boyd, Callum MacPherson and Henry scored tries with Fraser converting two.

Mixed fortunes for GoGos and Grammar

Gordonians are fourth in National Two after a 27-15 home bonus point win over Berwick.

Jake de Jager, Dave Taylor, Harris Mitchell, Daniel Brown and Rollo Press scored tries for the victors at Countesswells with Sean Mills converting one.

“We started brightly, but had a bit of a hangover from the big derby last weekend and struggled to get in our groove,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice admitted.

“When we did we scored some very good tries and kept Berwick at arm’s length throughout the game.”

Aberdeen Grammar are ninth in the same division after a 41-32 loss at Stewart’s Melville.

They earned a four try bonus point with skipper Jonny Spence and Craig Shepherd (3) going over and Dan McElderry kicking 12 points, but it was not enough for a victory.

“We are disappointed in ourselves, poor defence (24-10 down at the break) gave us too much to do,” Grammar head coach Eric Strachan said.

Caledonia One North Conference leaders Aberdeenshire were pushed all the way before beating Highland’s second team 34-33.

Garioch took two bonus points from their women’s Premiership trip to Cartha Queens Park, but a win still alludes them.

Megan Hyland (2), Josie Shaw and Charlotte Burrows scored tries with Laura Milne converting one in Glasgow in a 24-22 loss.

Head coach Dave Duguid said:  “I’m just really proud, it shows that we are progressing well as we came away extremely disappointed that we didn’t get the win.”