Six-try High­land rise to

Car­son’s men are de­nied chance to play on new pitch

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen) - - SPORT -

High­land put aside the dis­ap­point­ment of not be­ing able to play their first game on their new pitch at Canal Park with a six­try win against derby ri­vals Gor­do­nians on Satur­day.

High­land Coun­cil’s fail­ure to com­plete the nec­es­sary pa­per­work meant a late change of venue for High­land but Davie Car­son, the High­land coach, was de­lighted that his charges had kept up their pro­mo­tion drive to re­main un­beaten, and now up in sec­ond place in Na­tional 3, only one point be­hind lead­ers Glas­gow Ac­cies.

He said: ‘’Nat­u­rally, we were dis­ap­pointed not to get our game played at the new Canal Park fa­cil­i­ties, es­pe­cially af­ter all the work by our vol­un­teers, but at least its done, and hope­fully we’ll be there in two weeks.

“In the mean­time here at the old In­ver­ness High School, the guys did us proud. It was a great all­round per­for­mance, even if we fell off the pace in the mid­dle of the sec­ond half, though, in fair­ness, we fin­ished strongly.”

It was Gor­do­nians, the new­com­ers in Na­tional 3, who first got the ball rolling in four min­utes when full back Danny Usogo waltzed through a nonex­is­tent home de­fence to run 30 yards to the line for a try which was con­verted by stand off Liam Wal­lace.

High­land hit back with a sus­tained spell of pres­sure but found the Countess­wells side in no mood to sur­ren­der its lead, but af­ter 12 min­utes cap­tain and num­ber eight Stu­art MacDon­ald raced in af­ter be­ing as­tutely re­leased by the hard work­ing Mike Gor­don on the wing.

Cen­tre Scott Fraser kicked the con­ver­sion be­fore go­ing on to add a penalty but was wide of the mark when at­tempt­ing to con­vert the try of flanker Cal­lum Car­son a few min­utes later.

Gor­do­nians dragged them­selves back into the game, scor­ing an op­por­tunist try through num­ber eight Sam Cooper to which Wal­lace added the ex­tras to make it 15-14 at the break for the home­sters.

High­land started the sec­ond half brightly scor­ing two quick tries through their ef­fer­ves­cent stand off Iain Chisholm, who was in­volved in all things good in a solid home per­for­mance, and at 29-14 looked out of sight, only to be sur­prised by a fight back from the Gor­do­nians, who de­spite 15 min­utes of in­ces­sant pres­sure, failed to claw points back.

Hav­ing sur­vived the on­slaught, High­land fin­ished strongly, run­ning in two late tries scored by MacDon­ald and full back Craig Find­later.

Ryan Mor­rice, the Gor­do­nians head coach, was en­cour­aged by the en­ergy and com­mit­ment of his team.

He said: “We are learn­ing all the time in this new en­vi­ron­ment. I thought we were the bet­ter team in the first half but it was a good game of rugby, just a pity we didn’t get to play on the new pitch.”

In the same divi­sion Orkney failed to break their duck los­ing out 31-10 at home to St Boswells. Aberdeen­shire’s mis­er­able run in Na­tional 2 con­tin­ued at Hamil­ton on Satur­day when, for the sec­ond time this sea­son, the La­nark­shire side clocked up more than 100 points against the be­lea­guered Wood­siders, who had no an­swer to the power of the home side.

The 133-0 de­feat for Shire is the heav­i­est in the club’s his­tory and now means they have con­ceded 481 points in six league and cup games, while only scor­ing 29, un­der­lin­ing the words of club pres­i­dent Alas­dair Far­quhar­son, who last week said: “The joint col­lab­o­ra­tion with Aberdeen Gram­mar will take a while to bed in.

“There will be more pain be­fore there is any gain.”

The pain was clearly there to see at Laigh Bent where the young Shire team tried its best to stem the flow but was un­able to stop Hamil­ton run­ning in 21 tries.

Head coach Craig Parslow, who was not at the game due to work du­ties in Nor­way, said: “We now need to re­group and get ac­cess to play­ers who will turn the sit­u­a­tion around.”

Shire’s next game is at home to Howe of Fife on Satur­day.

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