STORNOWAY RFC welcomed the high flying students of Aberdeen University to Bayhead last Saturday for the Island sides latest fixture in Caledonian Division 2.
The visitors have started the season extremely well, sitting second in the league behind Garioch. Stornoway on the other hand were very much the opposite, having won only one of their previous seven outings they sat firmly at the bottom of the table!
Also adding concern for the Islanders were the number of players missing from the squad. “I was delighted with the way the guys pulled together, it was a great effort,” said coach Angus Mackay.
Game could go
The home side found themselves three points down early on after an Aberdeen penalty. But they rallied well and scored through Davy Graham.
A quick tap penalty saw the forwards recycle ball and, from the ensuing drive, Graham touched down under the posts. This was converted by Hobson for a 7-3 lead.
The game was a great spectacle for the gathering crowd, with both sides playing exciting, expansive rugby.
Stornoway slotted a penalty to go 10-3 in front but were pegged by the visitors after allowing them a try, putting the side level at the whistle.
At 10-10 this game could go either way and it was the students who took the advantage, despite being reduced to 14, with their influential centre receiving a yellow card for a high tackle.
This left the home side trailing 15-10 with 15 minutes to go.
Large parts if the second half were played from end to end, much to the delight of the crowd.
But the home side produced the try of the match after great work from forwards and backs. After a number of phases deep into Aberdeen territory, the ball found its way out wide to Angus Williams for the levelling try. Hobson then added the extra points for the richly deserved win.
spirit in the squad
Coach Mackay was delighted to add: “It is a great reflection on the spirit in the squad, we had had some guys playing their first games today, so I’m delighted for them.”
The rugby didn’t end there however, as the U18 side welcomed Ross Sutherland to Bayhead.
The tenacious juniors are forging a formidable side, with pace, flair and aggression in abundance.
They ran in four quality tries: two from Ewen Mackinnon and a try each for Alick Graham and Sandy MacNeil.
It was a very even contest and could easily have gone either way but the Stornoway lads held on for well deserved 24-17 victory. The seniors now find themselves travelling to Invergorden next Saturday and will be buoyed by the return of several first team regulars as they take on Ross Sutherland.