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Greens bounce back to climb away from the drop zone


By Matt Leslie

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Ewen Macdonald is congratulated on scoring his first try for Caithness during their 34-7 victory against Carrick at Millbank. Picture: James Gunn
Ewen Macdonald is congratulated on scoring his first try for Caithness during their 34-7 victory against Carrick at Millbank. Picture: James Gunn

Caithness bounced back from their mauling at Ardrossan to lift themselves out of the relegation zone with a superb 34-7 win against Carrick at Millbank.

Having been on the wrong end of a 114-0 thumping the previous Saturday, the Greens rolled up their sleeves in the foul weather to breach the visitors' try-line six times.

Two of the tries came from Hamish Coghill, along with by scores by Jordan Miller, Scottie Webster, Kevin Budge and Ewen Macdonald with a superb individual effort. The rest of the Greens' points came via the boot of Shane Campbell.

Carrick lie firmly rooted to the bottom of National League Three while the Greens leapfrog over Perthshire and out of the relegation spots.

While there is still a long way to go before the season's end, the psychological effect of finally not being in the bottom two will no doubt do Caithness a power of good ahead of this weekend's trip south to Howe of Fife.

Head coach Ewen Boyd said: "It was a hard-fought game against a big, aggressive Carrick side. The boys competed well despite the heavy surface brought about by the weather.

"We managed to get our noses in front early before pulling away in the second half and it was a really good day for us.

"The team went through the phases well and we kept hold of the ball when we had it. We killed them off with some impressive scoring in the second half and I am delighted for the lads."

Jordan Miller leaves the Carrick defence in his wake as he scores a brilliant try for Caithness. Picture: James Gunn
Jordan Miller leaves the Carrick defence in his wake as he scores a brilliant try for Caithness. Picture: James Gunn

Boyd was pleased with the impressive way the team as a whole functioned to put Carrick away. However, there were a handful of individuals who stood out.

He added: "The team were brilliant but I have to say that both Grant Anderson and Scott Webster were superb.

"A special mention goes to Ewen Macdonald. As a youngster he's not played much first-team rugby but he got his opportunity and took it with a man-of-the-match performance.

"He was playing on the wing – his usual position is scrum-half – but he acquitted himself well and ran in an excellent try.

"We now have a trip to Howe of Fife on Saturday and unfortunately we'll have the same problems in terms of numbers.

"Every away fixture brings this up so we won't have as big a squad as we did for the Carrick game.

"However, we will be going down there with a team to compete. We know it will be a big challenge down there but we've got to compete and see what happens."

Elsewhere in National League Three, Perthshire slipped into the drop zone – and four points behind Caithness – after their 33-3 loss at home to second-placed Ardrossan Academicals.

Berwick are the new leaders after a thumping 47-0 win against Murrayfield Wanderers. Greenock Wanderers fell off their perch and into third place after their 18-10 defeat at Lasswade.

West of Scotland edged out Howe of Fife 13-12 at Milngavie while Strathmore won a 26-23 thriller at Hillhead/Jordanhill.

Fixtures

Saturday, December 14 (all kick-offs 2pm)

National League Three

Carrick v Ardrossan Academicals

Greenock Wanderers v Hillhead/Jordanhill

Howe of Fife v Caithness

Lasswade v Perthshire

Murrayfield Wanderers v West of Scotland

Strathmore v Berwick



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