Stornoway U16’s put on a spirited display in defeat against one of the top teams in the league last Saturday. The match was hard fought throughout with both teams fully committed at the contact areas with some crunching tackles. Wanderers were the better side, and fully deserved their win, but this was a big step forward for the local side following two heavy defeats to the same side last season.
Wanderers started the stronger side but were met with some stern defence showing that they were going to work hard any tries. Wingers Lewis Macdonald and Ronan Sinclair both pulled off try saving tackles just short of the line, then David Campbell and Steven Drummond knocked Wanderers big prop backwards from a tapped penalty 5m out from their line.
Wanderers broke the deadlock after 10 minutes when Stornoway just ran out of defenders following a prolonged period of play. This stung Stornoway and they reacted well, gaining good field position with some good kicking from Dean Drummond. They stormed the Wanderers line with some strong drives by Fraser Martin and Jonny Macdonald before skipper David Campbell crashed over in the corner. Iain Murdo Macleod narrowly missed the conversion.
The match continued to be hard fought with defences generally on top though Wanderers did manage two further tries before half time to take their lead to 17-5.
The second half saw more of the same, Wanderers more determined to get the ball wide, a sign of respect for the home forwards. However, they met stern defence with centres Iain Murdo Macleod and Jonny Henderson combining well, making tackles or forcing mistakes. Lewis Macdonald was having another good game on the left wing making a number of important tackles, also cleverly stopping the offload and giving time for reinforcements to arrive.
With 15 minutes to go Stornoway and injuries taking their toll Wanderers managed 2 breakaway tries to take the match out of Stornoway’s reach. They did, however, never give up and regrouped to finish the match the stronger side. A great break by Iain Murdo almost led to a try and out wide, Alastair Rigby was tackled into touch just short.
All in all an impressive display from the home side, despite the defeat. Next match is an away trip to Garioch on Saturday, with renewed determination to add to their league points.
Squad: Fraser Martin, Cameron Morrison, Ewen Cameron, Calum Mackenzie, Jonny Macdonald, Calum Campbell, Stephen Drummond, David Campbell, Iain Macaulay, Dean Drummond, Iain M Macleod, Jonny Henderson, Ronan Sinclair, Lewis Macdonald, Callum Nicolson, Rory Mighton, Calum Mackay, Alastair Rigby.