Greens send out party invites to fans for finale
CAITHNESS boss Tom McGee hailed his history-making troops – and prayed the pubs along the A9 survived the celebrations – as they clinched promotion to the Scottish National League set-up.
The Greens lost last weekend’s fixture at Strathmore 54-36 but they sealed the one point that they needed to go up by grabbing a bonus point for scoring four tries.
Places such as St Boswells, Murrayfield Wanderers and – assuming they survive relegation – local rivals Orkney will be on the travelling itinerary next season as, for the first time, Caithness will compete on the national stage.
It was only the second Caledonia League defeat they’ve tasted this season – an indication as to why they’ve gone up to the next level.
The champagne flowed long into the night once the final whistle was blown and McGee paid tribute to his men.
He said: “We have created history and I’ve told the players to embrace this moment because they’ve worked so hard to get here.
“Yes, we lost, and yes, we didn’t seal it with a win, but this promotion has been the result of the past two years’ hard work and all the hundreds of hours the guys have put in on the training pitch.
“It was a cracking game of rugby and credit to Strathmore – they are a terrific team.
“They had a slim hope of catching us and they went for it.
“We responded in kind and both of us produced a brilliant game that entertained the spectators. The fourth try we scored must have looked weird because we were chasing the game but we celebrating as if we had won it.
“In a way we had, because that secured the point and the lads knew the significance of that try.”
Caithness now have one more game to complete their season and bid a fond farewell to the Caledonia League.
Dunfermline will be the visitors at Millbank on Saturday and McGee has urged the fans to turn out in their droves for a party occasion. He said: “Training this week for this one will be pretty surreal. All season I’ve had the guys in to perfect their skills in order to work towards the main goal of winning promotion.
“Now we’ve gone and done it and it will be a bit strange putting them through their paces when we’ve achieved what we’ve set out to do.
“However, we’ll want to end the season on a high and give our home crowd something to cheer about with a win against Dunfermline.
“We ask our fans to not only turn out in numbers but to bring someone they know who hasn’t been to Millbank before and is wondering what all the fuss is about.
“There will no doubt be a celebratory atmosphere and they will be more than welcome.
“As to whether or not the players will join the fans in the bar afterwards, well, it would be rude not to. They deserve our thanks for the support they’ve given us this season.”