This weekend Stornoway U16s travelled to Invergordon to face a strong Orkney squad.
The game started off poorly for Stornoway with some missed tackles and bad decision making leading to some easy tries for Orkney. Despite being two tries down Stornoway kept their heads up and some direct attacking play from the forwards allowed scrum half Malcolm Smith to quickly shift the ball out to the backs and some good hands allowed Cameron McClements to score in the corner. The conversion was brilliantly put through the uprights by Kieran McEwan.
The second half was much better from the Stornoway side who began the half with far more aggression, putting the Orkney defence under pressure by quickly going through the phases and making good ground. However, the Orkney defence held on and won a turnover. Orkney then scored there only try of the half by a small lapse of focus from Stornoway after a poor kick chase which allowed Orkney to attack some gaps in the defence. Overall, there was a lot of positives to take from the game but there was also a lot to work on as well. The final score was 35-7 to Orkney.
Following the under-16 bout it was the turn of the younger under-14s to take to the turf.
This was a thoroughly entertaining match between two fairly even teams, despite Stornoway out scoring their opponents 9 tries to 3, with Todd Morrison converting eight of the tries.
Orkney were stronger at set piece, particularly the scrums, but in open play the powerful running of Shaun Maclean and Duncan Macphail made the difference. They were ably supported by the half back partnership of Nathanael Millar and Todd Morrison progressing into a very useful pairing. Todd’s place kicking was superb and his strong right boot cleared danger on a number of occasions. Nathanael is a bundle of energy and a real handful for defenses around the fringes of set pieces and breakdowns.
Stornoway side deserved the win and although it didn’t culminate in a score the final action of the match typified their effort. Duncan Macphail broke clear from deep in his own half, Connor Maclean and Drew Maynard kept the move going and good support and offloading before young Coinneach Macleod drove through a gap to take the ball into the Orkney 22. A slight knock on brought the move to an end but the move showcased the effort and skill produced by this promising group of players. Try scorers: Shaun Maclean 4, Nathanael Millar 2, Todd Morrison 2, Duncan Macphail 1. Conversions - Todd Morrison 8.