Orkney made it nine wins out of nine in National Three on Saturday as they scored 50 points to get the better of West of Scotland at Pickaquoy.
The 50-24 bonus point triumph leaves Orkney second in the table ahead of this coming weekend’s much-anticipated trip to Cupar to take on in-form Howe of Fife.
Orkney are on 42 points while Preston Lodge, the leaders, are on 45 having played a game more and Howe of Fife are third on 38 points, also having played a game more.
“The first half on Saturday was probably the best rugby we have played all season,” Orkney team manager Garry Coltherd said.
“The lads played with the intensity we have been aiming for and there was some great interlinking between the forwards and the backs.
“We dropped off a bit in the second half and West took full advantage, deservedly getting a bonus point. We did have the final say though, the final try coming after a break down the left wing and finished off by scrum-half William Thomson.
“Now we are looking forward to the Howe of Fife match and we will have to keep the first half showing from the West game up for the whole 80 minutes if we are to get something from that one.”
The try scorers for Orkney were Alex Kansour, Chris Guthrie (2), captain Liam Moar, Scott Rendall, Marcus Guthrie and the aforementioned Thomson. Connor Hancock kicked six conversions and a penalty.
Difficult day at the office
It was a tougher Saturday for other local clubs Highland, Gordonians and Aberdeen Grammar.
In National One, Highland lost ground on leaders Ayr as they slipped to just their second loss of the season.
The 27-17 loss to Watsonians in Edinburgh, coupled with Ayr’s bonus point win over Biggar, means second-placed Highland are now 11 points adrift.
At Myreside not much went right for Highland, co-captain Callum Carson struggled with an injury which forced him off and a late penalty drifted wide to deny them a losing bonus point.
Grant Jamieson scored two tries and Magnus Henry one with co-captain Scott Fraser converting one in the loss.
“I am pretty disappointed with our performance,” Highland head coach Dave Carson said.
“We lacked a lot of grunt up front and losing Callum Carson was a big blow.
“On a positive note, three more of the second team forwards got their first team debuts, but we just weren’t good enough.
“It’ll now be a massive test this coming weekend against GHA.”
Gordonians have slipped to fifth in National Two and are 11 points behind leaders Lasswade with a game in hand after a 31-20 home loss to Peebles.
“It was a disappointing day, we never got going in the first half and kept giving Peebles easy territory and possession,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice admitted.
“When we did create some opportunities we weren’t accurate enough to convert them, but at half-time we still felt we could get back in the game.
“However, a red card quickly after the break put us on the back foot.
“Credit to the players, we could have given up the game but they stuck at it and fought until the end.”
Peebles, who are second now, were 17-3 up at half-time at Countesswells.
With Gordonians down to 14 men that became 31-3 before two Harris Mitchell tries and one from Dave Taylor came for the hosts. Their other scores came from the boot of Hamish Smart.
Strachan takes positives from Stirling
Aberdeen Grammar earned a four try bonus point, but are ninth in the same division after a 47-28 reverse at Stirling County.
“Once again started too slowly and were behind 33-7 at half-time,” Grammar head coach Eric Strachan said.
“It was a great effort in the second half to claw back a bonus point. Every point is important now and the boys are working hard.”
Marcus van der Esch, Craig Shepherd (2) and teenage tight-head prop Brodie MacGruer with a 40-metre run were the try scorers with Dan McElderry kicking four conversions.
Caledonia One North Conference leaders Aberdeenshire won 66-0 against Aberdeen Wanderers.
Louise Sneddon and Jess Silcocks scored tries and Nikki Chalk kicked a conversion, but Garioch lost 71-12 at women’s Premiership leaders Watsonians.