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Krakens keep their title hopes alive after late clincher

By Iain Grant

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Hannah Dunnett's late try sealed a 10-5 victory over previously unbeaten Highland. Picture: James Gunn
Hannah Dunnett's late try sealed a 10-5 victory over previously unbeaten Highland. Picture: James Gunn

Caithness Krakens signed off their campaign in Caledonia North League 2 with a dramatic 10-5 victory over previously unbeaten Highland at Millbank.

Hannah Dunnett's last-play try clincher sparked celebrations in the home camp.

The win on Saturday avenged the 37-10 loss they suffered in Inverness in September and keeps alive their albeit vestigial interest in the title race.

The visitors struck first on the half-hour mark when they created an overload to score wide out right.

The hosts pulled level midway through the second half when stand-off Ellie Anderson was stopped short but managed to stretch out to ground the ball on the line.

Highland were dangerous on the counter and the Krakens were indebted to full-back Carly Erridge for several crucial one-on-one tackles.

The Krakens enjoyed the bulk of possession after the break but once again struggled to pierce a resilient defence.

Dunnett was just off-target with a penalty shot in the dying minutes.

Caithness regained the ball and, in a late siege of the try line, Dunnett darted through a gap on the fringe of a ruck to score.

Krakens coach Mike Flavell said: "I thought it was a really good game in which both defences were very solid.

"Their defence probably shaded ours – their line speed was very good and they flooded the rucks and put a lot of pressure on us.

"We should have come away from something from our opening attacks when we showed a bit of white-line fever and tried to bludgeon our way through instead of being patient."

Overall, he reckoned his 16-strong squad had 60 to 70 per cent of possession and territory and deserved to come out on top.

He had special praise for number eight Emmy Smith, prop Justine Mackay and centre Erin Johnstone.

Flavell believes the fledgling Highland side have the potential to progress up the ranks of women's rugby.

He also praised how referee David Pottinger handled the game.

The result gives the Krakens a record of five wins and a defeat.

They are three points ahead of Highland but the latter have an outstanding fixture versus pointless Moray, with a win of any denomination enough to clinch the title.

The Krakens were wearing their new kit, though they chose to put on pink socks to mark their support for the Wear it Pink campaign for breast cancer awareness. A series of fundraisers run in the clubhouse raised £846.81 for the cause.

Caithness Evergreens came out of mothballs to take part in a four-way over-35s tournament in Aberdeen on Saturday.

The squad of county veterans, boosted by a clutch of exiles and three guests from Ellon, flew to the city for the competition at Aberdeenshire's base at Woodside.

They also had the services of ex-Glasgow Warriors loose-head prop Stuart Corsar, an Aberdeen-based performance coach with Scottish Rugby.

The Evergreens opened with a two tries-to-nil win over Orkney thanks to tries from Iain Webster and Derek Bain.

They then defeated Aberdeen Wanderers by four tries to nil with touchdowns from Ellon guest Gareth Reid, Stuart Grant (2) and A N Other.

They completed their schedule with a hard-fought tussle versus ’Shire who won with the only try of the game.

The squad returned with an assortment of bumps and bangs but the only serious complaints were several cases of bruised pride.

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