Late, great show from Rugby teens

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Stornoway U16’s were involved in a entertaining and ultimately very exciting match against Caithness last weekend.

Both teams travelled to Invergordon to fulfil the fixture where the pitch and the conditions were perfect for running rugby. The teams were evenly matched and determined to get a win.

Caledonian North U16 League

SYRFC U16s 38

Caithness RFC U16s 34

Stornoway opened the scoring after five minutes following a period of pressure through Dean Drummond, looping round to support a Jonny Henderson break. Iain Murdo Macleod converted for a seven point lead. This was the first of four successful conversions for Iain Murdo, which proofed to be crucial by the end of the match.

Caithness then showed what they could do when, not for the last time in the match, they turned over the ball at a ruck on the halfway line. Following good ball retention through a number of phases their big prop went over in the corner for a fine team try.

Stornoway hit back through a long range converted try for Iain Murdo as both teams gave 100 per cent effort. Caithness then struck back with two tries very similar to their first with one being converted to take the lead for the first time.

With half-time approaching Stornoway won a series of rucks on the Caithness 22 following a clean lineout take. Two speculative passes from Ronan Sinclair and then Drummond put Iain Murdo under pressure but he managed to use his strength to offload the ball to set Jonny Henderson free to score near the posts. Half time score 19-22 to Caithness.

For much of the second half the teams cancelled each other out with great commitment shown by all players. Caithness were superior in the rucks and stopped Stornoway building phases but were unable to break free thanks to determined tackling, in particular by Ewen Cameron and Calum Campbell. Stornoway’s main threat during this period was Lewis Macdonald on the left wing.

Stornoway broke the deadlock and retook the lead midway through the half through Calum Mackenzie, with his first try for the club. Strong running from Fraser Martin, and Jonny Macdonald helped set up good field position and the forwards set up camp on the Caithness line before Calum sneaked over for a well deserved try.

With seven minutes remaining and all still to play for Caithness went back in front, and began a stirring finale. Stornoway struck back with a cracking team try finished by Drummond, again showing good support running lines. Then young Rory Mighton, playing his first game at this level, was harshly ruled to have knocked on in the act of scoring following a terrific break by Stornoway’s man of the match Sinclair.

Caithness hit back with a converted breakaway try to take a three-point lead. With only seconds remaining Iain Murdo quickly restarted and a good chase from the forwards put pressure on their opponents. Stornoway managed to regain possession and after a period of pressure Henderson broke through in midfield jinking past five defenders on his way to score. Iain Murdo slotted the conversion to complete the scoring and seal a welcome and well-deserved win.

Stornoway U16s: Fraser Martin, Cameron Morrison, Ewen Cameron, Jonny Macdonald, Calum Mackenzie, Ronan Sinclair, Calum Campbell, David Campbell, Iain Macaulay, Dean Drummond, Iain Murdo Macleod, Jonny Henderson, Calum Mackay, Lewis Macdonald, Callum Nicolson, Rory Mighton, Mark Mackinnon, John Maciver.