Strathmore travelled up North to Thurso at the weekend to play an undefeated Caithness. The majority of players travelled up on the Friday night, with one more car coming up on Saturday morning. The guys couldn’t of been more relaxed and chilled out before the game with watching the New Zealand vs. France game with there breakfast. Then a few boys went for a browse around town bumping into a couple of friendly faces in Bunkers and Ginge.
It wasn’t long until 3pm came around and the Forfar side where more than ready for this game. Strathmore got onto the score board within the first 3 minutes when Nicol got mulac’d when taken a high ball from a 22 drop. Wood adds an easy 3 points. There was 2 debutants on Saturday with Stuarit Tosh starting on the openside and Dean Milne coming off the bench on ten minutes for Nicol. The game was played at a good tempo, the mobility of the Strathmore pack against the bulk of Caithness soon paid off when Kiely broke on the outside with the forwards generating quick ball for Smith to score his first of the day. Wood makes it 10-0 after 20 minutes. The Forfar side kept the pressure on at the break down and it wasn’t long until another penalty was awarded. Wood slots another 13-0. On the half hour mark Caithness got some territory and pilled on the pressure and scored a good try on 30 minutes. Missed the conversion. Strathmore couldn’t have reacted any better, with great play up the left side of the field. Smith yelling for the chip over the back, Wood puts it on the button and the bounce of the ball favoured Smith to score his second. Wood makes it 20-5 at Half Time.
The second half got under way with Nicol coming back to the field for Tosh. The Inchmacoble side put a penalty into the corner and the forwards set up a superb platform for the backs to release Ross from fullback to score right of the post. Wood couldn’t miss 27-5. The backs made it look easy all day with great running lines and the hunger to score. It was time for a change, D.Cargil come on for B.Marshall on the wing and Durward replaced Hampton in the front-row. The play went back in forth between the two sides until Caithness scored a well worked forwards try. 27-12. Strathmore had to make an unwanted change in the mid-field when Langland’s was struck behind the refs back, B.Marshall on as a blood sub. The hunger in the Strathmore defence was unbelievable with Yarr at the top of the tackle count, some great tackles. The game had to be stopped for 20 minutes when Caithness scrum half had to be stretchered away in an Ambulance. We wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. The last 10 minutes where going to be very tight. Strathmore leaked another score to make it a very tense ending to the game. 27-19. the fitness seemed to pay off when Strathmore dug deep and kept the final parts of the game in the home sides half. The blacks where very unlucky not the get the bonus point when Kiely split the defence open again just to be tackled yards from the try line. Strathmore where awarded a penalty on 80 minutes, but opted to trust Wood to kick the 3 points to make it 30-19 to the visitors.
Man of the Match: James Kiely