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Greens finally put losing streak to bed

By Matt Leslie

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Scott Webster eludes the Perthshire defence at Millbank.
Scott Webster eludes the Perthshire defence at Millbank.

Caithness finally savoured the sweet smell of success as they ended their barren streak with victory against Perthshire.

You have to go back to October 5 and a 22-14 home win against Strathmore for the last time the Greens won a National League Three match.

With Perthshire hovering above the relegation zone in which Caithness currently reside, nothing less than a win would do for the Greens.

And win they did with a bonus-point 29-20 victory taking them level on points with their beaten visitors – who only lead Greens in the table on points difference.

Tries came from Jack Macleod, Grant Anderson, Kevin Budge and Marc Anderson, who also kicked nine points.

However, as team manager Garry Anderson revealed, the much-needed victory has come at a price.

"Unfortunately, we've lost two key players through to injury, with both having recently come back from long-term injuries," he said.

"Marc Anderson, who had an outstanding game at stand-off, suffered a tear in one of his quad muscles.

"It could be February when he'll be back for us. He's gutted and so are we because his performance on Saturday showed what he brings to the team.

"Evan Sutherland was another casualty. He has a shoulder injury, although we don't know yet how long he'll be out for.

"Kris Hamilton is back in training so hopefully we'll see his return at scrum-half soon.

"But with the injuries it's like we've taken one step forward by beating Perthshire only to be forced to take two back.

Caithness number 13 Douglas Webster congratulates Marc Anderson on scoring his try. Picture: James Gunn
Caithness number 13 Douglas Webster congratulates Marc Anderson on scoring his try. Picture: James Gunn

"However, on the positive side, we finally got a result and we are relieved and delighted to have done so.

"We were able to put a strong first XV and a bench out and when you have decent numbers available for selection your chances improve.

"There were a lot of players who put in a great shift for us. Special mentions go to our full-back Scott Webster – who was man of the match – and to club stalwart Graeme Fryer who was deputising for Kris at scrum-half.

"Fitness and stamina have been our Achilles heel this season as we've faded in games.

"But we've got strength and conditioning coach Kenny Russell from the SRU in on an ad-hoc basis and he was able to join us last week.

"The difference he made to us was seen with how strongly we were able to finish the Perthshire game. The boys have been coming into the gym off their own backs to build up their fitness as well."

A tough trip to promotion-chasing Ardrossan Academicals is next up for the Greens, who will have a familiar problem ahead of this game.

Anderson added: "We're about 19 first-team players down and will only be going to Ardrossan with 17 players.

"Ardrossan away is usually a hard ask at the best of times so we're under no illusions that this will be a tough game for us."

Elsewhere in National League Division Three, leaders Berwick dished out a 68-5 thrashing to bottom side Carrick.

Second-placed Greenock Wanderers came away from Strathmore with a 24-14 victory, while Lasswade remain third after their 25-12 win at Murrayfield Wanderers.

Howe of Fife edged out Hillhead/Jordanhill 26-20, while Ardrossan warmed up for the visit of Caithness with a 24-7 home win against West of Scotland.

Fixtures (all kick-offs 2pm)

Saturday, November 30

National League Division Three

Ardrossan Academicals v Caithness

Carrick v West of Scotland

Greenock Wanderers v Perthshire

Howe of Fife v Berwick

Murrayfield Wanderers v Hillhead/Jordanhill

Strathmore v Lasswade

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