Orkney Outrun Glenrothes To Extend League Lead

FIVE converted tries in the first half put Orkney well in command against second-place Glenrothes on a fine Saturday afternoon for running rugby at Pickaquoy that ended in a 42-8 victory - their 13th in a row this season.

A crowd of over 250 enjoyed a commanding performance from Orkney - both in attack and defence - as they outplayed Glenrothes in spells and held firm when the visitors spent time camped on the Orkney line.

It was good handling and strong running from the Orkney backs that saw Philip Ross, Chris Guthrie Jon Tait (2), and James Linklater scoring tries in the first half, all converted by James Linklater.

Orkney's strong defensive display meant that Glenrothes could only slot one penalty, scored by Steven Varney, in reply in the first 40 minutes, despite long periods of possession and the use of their big pack to batter at the Orkney line.

The second half was a tougher one for Orkney, with Glenrothes on the attack seeking a way back into the game and forcing the home side to defend fiercely for long periods.

This they did, and Glenrothes could only come away with one unconverted try for all their efforts, winger Colin King sneaking in on the left.

Orkney replied with a fine try from Philip Ross, who cut diagonally through the Glenrothes defence like a knife through butter to go over behind the posts. Bryan Linklater converted in the absence of James Linklater, who had been subbed off for a rest.

Glenrothes did attack again, but Orkney held firm at the back against a couple of scrums five metres out.

Davy Leonard was unlucky to have a try chalked off in the dying minutes, when he was judged by the referee to have been ahead of the kicker when he ran up the right to catch a crossfield punt.

The win puts Orkney on 62 points in Caledonia Division 1, 12 ahead of St Andrews University who won 24-8 away to Grangemouth to leapfrog Glenrothes into second place.

Orkney's final game of 2009 is away to Crieff and Strathearn next Saturday, December 19.