Rugby - Stornoway team mark league debut with home win over visiting Huntly
Huntly Ladies 10
For the first time in their short but quickly expanding history, Stornoway Rugby Club’s Ladies played their first league match and the sporting starlets enjoyed a memorable day in the sun at Bayhead as they marked their maiden league match with a well deserved win.
Huntly provided the oppositon as they sent a team across the Minch for Stornoway’s big day but from the moment our girls walked onto the turf there was no chance of the Aberdeenshire visitors of ruining the occasion or taking the points.
There was an unmistakeable grit, determintion, fire and no shortage of superb rugby, crisp passing, direct running and ferocious tackling on show as the Stornoway girls rose to the occasion.
The hosts had been chomping at the bit to get into competitive action having spent most of the summer punishing themselves in pre-season training.
Stornoway ran in six tries and secured the bonus point win and despite Huntly travelling with a weakened side, they proved dogged challengers to the island girls and scored two great tries of their own.
The game started fairly evenly with both sides sounding each other out.
Despite the majority of the play, the Stornoway girls struggled at the breakdown where the Huntly girls were able to spoil the home sides possession.
However, after correcting this, Stornoway were able to break the deadlock and who else but club captain Emma Scaramuccia to cross the line for their opening try right in between the posts.
However, Huntly were quick to respond, scoring against the run of play and bringing to sides level at 5-5.
Stornoway then enjoyed a strong spell, but spirited Huntly defence held out a number of attacks. Eventually the home side took the lead, when Ealiesaid Nicleiod crossed for the first of her four tries, this was converted by the right boot of Annis Anderson, giving Stornoway a deserved 12-5 lead at half time.
The second half began going all the home sides way. Their superior fitness began to show and they were able to find the gaps in the Huntly defence, running in four more tries. These were shared by Scaramuccia and Nicleiod, with the former securing her brace and her vice captain running in four.
Annis Anderson added two more conversions before Huntly added their second just before the end.
A great show of running rugby from the home side, with some good individual performances.
After sorting out issues at the ruck, Stornoway were able to put a number of phases together, in turn putting Huntly under constant pressure but as was said prior, huge praise must be given to the visitors as they held out time and time again.
There were definitely areas on show where Stornoway need to work on and improve but all in all, it was a great first outing in league rugby for the Stornoway side.
They now look to prepare for a trip to Inverness this week, where they face a tougher challenge, in Inverness away to Craig Dunain.