Stornoway hand Highland a sting

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Stornoway Rugby Club defied Mother Nature’s icy moodswing over the weekend to take to a Bayhead turf hidden beneath a covering of snow and ice for their league fixture against Highland.

The match between the two Caley 2 rivals was keenly contested and an even match, but on the first league outing on home soil of 2017 it was Stornoway who edged an exciting encounter by two-points.

Despite the winter conditions, both sides played a huge part in making the game exciting and great to watch.

Stornoway were looking to raise their game against an opponent all involved felt they let themselves down against when the sides met in Inverness earlier this season.

On that day a weak Stornoway team were put to the sword that day, as a strong and well organised Highland simply ran the islanders ragged.

This time around was a different affair and Stornoway took to the field with fire in their bellies. The game was fought largely in the middle of the park, with both defences thwarting any attacks.

Highland drew first blood on the scoresheet when they slotted a penalty on the 20 minute mark, giving them a three point lead.

Stornoway replied with a good spell of pressure and were rewarded when Paul Afrin crossed wide on the left. Mackinnon was unable to split the posts for the extra points, but Stornoway turned at half time leading 5-3.

Both sides showed a real willingness to attack, with the cold conditions doing little to spoil the excitement for the crowd watching.

Highland struck first in the second period and after a converted try, now led 10-5. With just under 10 minutes to go, the Stornoway defence pressurised the Highland attack, with Euan Mackinnon intercepting a pass. He passed to winger Chris Adams and he dotted down under the posts, with Mackinnon slotting the extras, giving the home side a 12-10 lead.

Stornoway managed to hold out until the final whistle, for what was a well deserved win.

Coach Angus Mackay was delighted with the win and praised the side for their attitude. “The boys stuck in and their work rate was the key, they deserved the win,” he beamed.

Stornoway now wait to see how the fixtures fall, as the second half of the season sees them travelling to Deeside, Ellon and Shetland.