Six-try Highland rise to
Carson’s men are denied chance to play on new pitch
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.