Dunfermline topple Orkney in tough battle

Caledonian Leagues Jack Nixon Orkney remain warm favorites to win promotion from Caley Division 1, this despite losing out 11 - 7 to fellow title hopefuls Dunfermline in Fife, but have two games in hand on the Fifers going into the last third of the competition. In a hard fought, close affair Orkney took a first half lead, turning around 7 - 3 up on the back of a fine try from Mark Sinclair, converted by Connor Hancock against a lone penalty from the hosts. The second half saw the McKane Park side raise their game, taking control of the set pieces to ease into the lead with another week struck penalty, and an unconverted try in the last 10 minutes of the game. Despite a late flourish, the islanders had to settle for the consolation of a losing bonus point for being within seven points of the home total. The result meant that the top two exchanged places with Dunfermline one point ahead of the islanders. Orkney head coach Garry Coltherd was disappointed by the outcome but said:”Always knew this would be a tough game after they pushed us so hard earlier in the season in Kirkwall, but we had our chances. We are still in the driving seat at this crucial stage in the season. I’ll back us to be promoted.” With seven games remaining, four of them at home the Pickaquoy side cannot afford any more slip ups, including a tough home game against Ellon who are not yet out of the reckoning for the one promotion place on offer. On a day in which only two games went ahead in Northern Caledonian due to Scottish Rugby opting to give clubs the choice of playing, or helping restrict the spread of Covid. A situation which will be reviewed later this week. The other game to be played in the area was at Inverness where promotion seekers Moray were the visitors, taking on 2nd Highland in a bid to overhaul leaders Aberdeenshire who were not in action. In a highly entertaining game, watched by Highland head coach Davie Carson, taking a day out from coaching the Highland senior team, the home team held off the substantial challenge of the Elgin side, winning 43 - 35. “It was a cracking game, giving me more options for when I pick my team to play Dundee High next week. It’s just a shame my second team are not allowed to gain promotion due to them having a team in a higher division, but it was a great advert for Caley leagues,” said Carson. Moray raced into a 14 point lead in the first half hour, and despite being pegged back, turned around 21 - 12 at the break. In the second half Highland stand off Rory Carson upped the stakes, leading his line with authority and flair, enabling his team to add four tries to their two scored in the first half to lead 43 - 21 helped by four conversions and one penalty. Moray rallied with two late converted tries of their own, but despite their best efforts were unable to grab a deserved losing point, settling instead for a try bonus, collected for their five tries. In the meantime Aberdeenshire remained in the top slot and look marginal favourites to pip Moray for the one promotion slot in the division,

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