Caledonian Leagues

Jack Nixon Orkney returned to the National Leagues after an absence of three years, easing home 55 - 5 against a workmanlike Aberdeen Wanderers who enjoyed spells of good play but did not see enough of the ball to challenge the Kirkwall side. Head coach Garry Coltherd was delighted and relieved in equal measure, praising his charges for their resilience and commitment over a long season, some of it brought on by outbreaks of Covid in a number of a clubs. “We have stuck to the task, despite our own injury issues and two weeks ago fielded seven players who were all under 21. We are an ambitious club who need youngsters to come through the ranks. We now need to plan our strategy for life in the the national leagues, if indeed we opt to accept promotion. In the meantime we’ll enjoy the moment,” said Coltherd who admitted the promotion had eased the pain of 2019 when they went down to the Caley leagues. The islanders were commended for their all round good play by Wanderers head coach Shaun Liddle. “They are a fine young side who travel well, and will do well in National League 3. We competed well but couldn’t match their physicality, but we are learning,” he said. Orkney led 26 - 5 on the back of four good tries to one by the homesters who looked dangerous with ball in hand against the more direct visitors. The Pickaquoy side upped the pace of the game in the second, adding five unanswered touchdowns. In the title decider in Caley 4 North at Woodend , Caithness had no answers to a strong running Deeside who ran in 15 tries in their 89 - 5 win, seven of which were converted to top the table on points difference from Dyce. Head coach and player Ryan Strachan was delighted to land a first title in his debut year as a coach but said:”Our big squad has worked hard to get here. We’re looking forward to playing in a higher division next season.” His father and director of rugby at the club Eric Strachan went a stage further and predicted Deeside would be in Caley Division 1 in less than five years. Scrum half Jack McEwan marked his debut for Deeside with a hat trick of tries, while centre Ewan Caldwell scored four tries.

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