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Krakens are one win away from place in last four

By Iain Grant

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Emmy Smith, in action here against Dundee Valkyries 2nd XV, top-scored for the Krakens at Bannockburn. Picture: James Gunn
Emmy Smith, in action here against Dundee Valkyries 2nd XV, top-scored for the Krakens at Bannockburn. Picture: James Gunn

Caithness Krakens' dispatch of a second set of Valkyries at the weekend puts them one win away from a last-four place in a Scottish cup competition.

The county's women recorded a 62-7 win in Bannockburn to set up the National Plate group decider with Lochaber.

Mike Flavell's charges featured a handful of changes from the side that thrashed Dundee Valkyries 2nd XV by 116-0 in their opening tie.

Youngster Lyndsey Dunnett made her debut at hooker, while a reshaped back division saw Karlyn Bernard play fly-half, Emily Flavell partner Olivia Henderson in the midfield and Caitlin Flavell fill the number 15 shirt.

Exile Shannon Pasotti also made a guest appearance off the bench.

From the outset, the Krakens took the initiative with their hosts struggling to cope with their pace and power.

By half-time the visitors were home and hosed, having racked up 55 points without reply.

The weather took a turn for the worse in the second period with the driving rain, together with a clutch of prolonged injury stoppages, making for a scrappy, stop-start contest.

With a handful of Valkyries unable to continue, Saturday's game ended up 13-a-side.

Coach Flavell said: "We continued where we left off from the Dundee game.

"In the first half, we controlled the game and again looked to work the ball into the wide channels.

"We scored some really good tries and everybody did their bit.

"After the interval, it was a steady downpour and that along with all the stoppages meant the game was pretty disjointed."

Flavell was keen to praise Dunnett who, he said, made a very assured first appearance for the Krakens.

Number eight Emmy Smith top-scored with four tries and a conversion. Other tries fell to flanker Donna Edwards, scrum-half Aileen Simmonite, Emily Flavell, Henderson and Pasotti (2).

Right-winger Megan Douglas weighed in with three conversions and Bernard with two.

Lock forward Heather Mitchell scored a try for the hosts late on.

Krakens prop Shauna Malcolm suffered a knee injury which is likely to sideline her for the Lochaber game.

The Fort William outfit also completed a Valkyries double when they won 29-10 in Dundee on Sunday.

That sets up a winner-takes-all encounter between the two Highland sides at Millbank on March 9.

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