By Jack Nixon
Orkney are not be in action this weekend, giving Caley Division 1 leaders Dunfermline, the chance to move 12 points ahead of the islanders should they pick up maximum points at home Grangemouth Stags.
But with four games in hand, as will be the case at close of play on Saturday, Orkney are still hot favourites to land the title and with it the only promotion place on offer.
Even when they are not playing, the islanders are grabbing the headlines, thanks to Premiership club Aberdeen Grammar calling up props Alistair Linklater and Scott Randall for their vital league game in Glasgow where they meet GHA.
Garry Coltherd, the Kirkwall side’s head coach was delighted the two front rowers had been called up. “It’s a great honour to have a Premiership side think our two players are good enough to play in the top flight of the amateur game. It’s a great experience for them, while benefiting the club in long term. Getting game time when we are on a three week break is just perfect. In the meantime the rest of the squad are keeping themselves in good shape with our twice weekly training sessions, “ said Coltherd.
Now that Caley Division 1 has become a two horse race, the main interest is in who will be third in the top Caley league. Caithness are currently in pole position and with home advantage should be too good for visitors Blairgowrie, although Ellon with two games in hand and an apparently easy away game against bottom side Glenrothes will fancy their chances in the longer term.
Aberdeenshire will gain promotion from Caley 2 North should they take maximum points from their game at Stonehaven where they meet Mackie FP’s.
Given that Shire lost their first three games of the season under new head coach Charlie Catto it is nothing less than remarkable that he has turned Shire around.
But if you are looking for a unique occasion this weekend, look no further than Canal Park, Inverness where Highland are hosting a Caley 3 North game between Shetland and Stornaway who are playing a double header.
“All roads north of Inverness should lead to Canal Park on Saturday, especially as double points will be on offer. It also promises to be a very social occasion,” said Davie Carson, the Highland head coach who welcomed the opportunity to relate to other clubs in North Caledonia.