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Greens up against it – but Boyd is delighted with response from players


By Gordon Calder


Marc Anderson breaks free for Caithness as Marc Mackenzie vaults over a Hillhead Jordanhill player. Picture: James Gunn
Marc Anderson breaks free for Caithness as Marc Mackenzie vaults over a Hillhead Jordanhill player. Picture: James Gunn

CAITHNESS face a tough challenge in the coming weeks as they battle to stay in National League Division Three after a defeat at home to Hillhead Jordanhill on Saturday.

The Greens went down 29-12 at Millbank and have four remaining matches which will decide if they retain their division three status or are relegated to the Caledonia League.

Head coach Ewen Boyd knows it will not be easy but is philosophical about the club's situation.

"I am disappointed where we are in the league but am delighted with the response from the players and the club," he said. "We have to bring through our own players and give the under-16s and the under-18s more rugby and develop our second XV, but there are positive signs for the future."

Two of the four games the Greens have to to play are against teams who are in the top two places in the league. Caithness are third bottom on 22 points, with Perthshire and Carrick below them, but three teams are relegated at the end of the season.

Boyd reckons it will take 40 points to stay in the division.

"We are in a situation where we are not in control of our own destiny and will just have to wait and see how we get on with that, but it will be quite a task," he said. "We will be doing the best we can but it could depend on other teams as well.

"All the games will be crucial and we will be looking to get as many points as possible."

On Saturday's home defeat, Boyd said: "We competed well against a bigger and more physical team than us. We were 29-0 down at half-time, although we had opportunities to score.

Tom Storey tries to battle his way through for the Greens. Picture: James Gunn
Tom Storey tries to battle his way through for the Greens. Picture: James Gunn

"We managed to get 12 points in the second half but unfortunately it was just not enough. They were the better team.

"The result is a fair reflection of where we are at the moment. We are a team in transition and have young players coming in after losing some of our experienced players."

The Greens have no game this weekend but will be playing top-of-the-table Berwick away on Saturday, March 21.

The following week they are at home against West of Scotland who are eighth in the league and two places above Caithness.

Their two matches in April see them on the road again. They take on Perthshire on April 4 in what could well be a crucial encounter as the home team are at present one place below the Greens in the table on 15 points.

Their final game of the season, on April 25, sees them taking on Lasswade who are currently second.

Marc Mackenzie jumps in the lineout during the Greens' defeat to Hillhead Jordanhill at Millbank on Saturday. Picture: James Gunn
Marc Mackenzie jumps in the lineout during the Greens' defeat to Hillhead Jordanhill at Millbank on Saturday. Picture: James Gunn

The Greens have been plagued by injury problems throughout the campaign and have a small squad but should have a full complement of players for their next match.

"At the moment, we will probably be at full strength," Boyd said.

Despite the predicament of the Greens' league position, Boyd is enjoying the role of head coach at the club. He said: "I am fairly positive about the future but we need to continue growing as a club."

Elsewhere in National League Division Three on Saturday, Berwick were 26-8 winners away to West of Scotland, while Lasswade triumphed 32-10 at Ardrossan.

Greenock Wanderers had a thumping 67-3 victory at bottom club Carrick, and Howe of Fife were emphatic 60-19 winners at home to Strathmore.

Perthshire beat Murrayfield Wanderers 30-17.



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