A trio of sides representing Stornoway Rugby Club invaded Invergordon on Saturday with three matches against Ross Sutherland.
Under-14, under-16 and a senior side each crossed the white painted line and drove headfirst into battle with differing outcomes.
The seniors went down to a heavy defeat with coach Angus ‘Bubble’ Mackay bemoaning his lack of numbers which forced him to field several players far from 100 per cent fitness.
“Looking at things realistically, too many of the boys simply shouldn’t have been playing, illness and injury has meant we have been unable to prepare very well, and that showed on the pitch,” he said.
“This week we welcome a few players back and I would hope the boys will put on a far better display.”
Stornoway went down 63-7 against Ross Sutherland just seven days after a hugely positive display against title challengers Garioch.
However a spate of injuries and a flu bug which swept through the squad left the islanders off the pace.
Too many players carrying injury and a flu bug that has hampered most of the squad, simply meant that the island side were way off the pace.
With several players returning to the squad, Stornoway have an opportunity to put things right this Saturday, when Ross Sutherland visit Bayhead, with an 11.30am KO.
On an adjacent pitch the next generation of top-team stars were scrapping it out in the under-16 match. Here the SYRFC lads performed well in an encouraging display despite going down 24-15.
In what was the under-16s first competitive outing since last November, the teens performed well and shook any match rustiness out of their limbs in a match which raged from end to end.
Tries for Alfie Macmillan and Uisdean Russell-Smith (converted by Cameron McClements).
Cameron also put over a superb 40m penalty to put Sty in front 15-14 midway through the second half.
A brace of late tries from Ross’s talented Scotland U16 player Jacob Henry sealed victory for the home side and burst Stornoway’s bubble.
Great credit must go to the performance of the Stornoway squad, who played some terrific rugby before tiring in the last 10 minutes. The link play between backs and forwards was a pleasure to watch, and drew admiring comments from those watching.
The youngest of the three travelling sides were also in action with what was, for some in the squad, only their third game of rugby ever.
As such it was no surprise they struggled early on against their much bigger opponents. But they stuck to their tasks, rallied and began to put some excellent rugby together which earned them a win in the final 20-minute session.
This tie was split into three 20-minute sessions which saw Ross Sutherland win the opening pair 3-0.
But the third and final session went to Stornoway who won 2-0.
Everything came together and with Evan Trayner, Benjamin Macdonald and Kieran McEwan getting the team going forward they produced some impressive rugby.
Tries came from Evan Trayner and Benjamin Macdonald.