'Weird feeling at the end' as Greens are held to a draw by airmen
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The Greens were in two minds on how to react to the 26-26 draw they played out away to RAF Lossiemouth at the weekend.
On the strength of their dominant first-half performance, when they were not flattered by their 26-14 lead, they were entitled to feel down about returning north with just three match points.
But given the incessant pressure they were put under in the second half, when the airmen fought back to parity, a draw might not be seen as an unfair result.
Caithness travelled on the back of an impressive 54-21 win over Mackie – the first of their season in Caledonia League 1 north conference.
They were caught cold when a home centre probed a hole in the Greens' defensive line on an angled run to the line for a converted try within the first minute.
The visitors soon hit back when a sustained onslaught culminated with scrum-half Euan MacDonald feeding flanker Max Kennedy, who stepped past one defender and fended off another before crossing.
Young hooker Duncan MacMillan then crashed over from close range to register his first touchdown for the Greens.
Fly-half Jamie Mowat's second successful conversion extended the lead to 14-7.
MacMillan was soon chasing a second as he controlled the ball at the base of a rolling maul from a five-metre lineout. Lossie collapsed it just short of the line to concede a penalty try.
It was all going the visitors' way and they had reason to celebrate again near the interval when number eight Cole Wilson found space to power over near the posts.
Mowat's conversion had his side 26-7 up, though Lossie responded with a converted try just before the interval.
Caithness came desperately close to scoring again when full-back Scott Webster chased a kick and looked to have touched the ball down in goal. The referee initially signalled a try but disallowed it after deeming the grounding was on the dead-ball line.
The Greens lived on scraps for the remainder of the game with the home pack taking control.
They were helped by their RAF under-23 fly-half Kieran Jenkins, who gave a masterful display of line kicking. In the second half alone, he completed three 50/22s to turn the screw even more.
Lossie closed the gap to 26-21 with a converted try soon after the interval.
Relentless pressure paid off with an equalising five-pointer.
Coach Cameron Boyd said: "It was a weird feeling at the end. Going up the road with three points would normally be a decent return but it just didn't feel like it.
"It was a decent game. We enjoyed the best of the first half and took our opportunities.
"They came back really hard at us in the second half when we were forced to hang in there for long periods when we were defending our line."
Boyd said his squad were very disappointed by the manner of their 57-8 defeat in Ellon in mid-September and are determined to atone for it in the return on Saturday. The match at Millbank kicks off at 2pm, the same time as Caithness Seconds take on Inverness Craig Dunain on the neighbouring pitch.
Aberdeenshire stayed top of the north conference with a 66-0 thrashing of city rivals Wanderers at Woodside.
Second-placed Moray had a 25-19 win over Highland 2nd XV in Inverness, while Ellon moved above Mackie into third after a 48-43 win in Stonehaven.