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Yellows on receiving end of a right royal Deeside drubbing

By Iain Grant

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George Sutherland – in action here against Highland 3rds – got the Yellows' crumb of comfort against Deeside with an unconverted try. Picture: James Gunn
George Sutherland – in action here against Highland 3rds – got the Yellows' crumb of comfort against Deeside with an unconverted try. Picture: James Gunn

Caithness 2nd XV succumbed to a right royal drubbing on Deeside on Saturday as their Caley 4 North season finished on a low note.

However, their 89-5 defeat should not take the shine off a campaign that heralded the revival of the Yellows and saw them finish joint third.

The result confirmed hosts Deeside as champions, with the winning bonus point enough to claim the spoils from rivals Dyce on points difference.

A combination of injuries, illness, lambing and other work commitments conspired against Cameron Boyd as the coach sought to muster a full travelling contingent.

A handful of late call-offs left him with 14 and Boyd himself was a non-runner after having to pull out because of family members going down with Covid.

Former first-team coach Russell Mill and skipper Michael Tait stood in to take the side for the match in Banchory.

Boyd said: "From what they said, it was a pretty good battle up front where we managed to hold our own. But their back line was apparently a level above and one which wouldn't have embarrassed itself playing in the national leagues.

"They have all come through their youth ranks and they have managed to keep them together at the club."

Deeside used the perfect conditions to maintain a high tempo and produce platforms for their potent midfield strike runners.

The 15 tries were monopolised by fly-half Ben Cowie (3), scrum-half Jack McKeown (3) and centres Euan Caldwell (4) and Rory Meldrum (1).

The others fell to left winger Angus Marshall (2) and flanker Will Davie (2), with Cowie kicking seven conversions.

The Yellows' crumb of comfort came from an unconverted touchdown from George Sutherland.

It represented a dramatic turnaround from the closely fought encounter in Thurso in October which Caithness edged 17-10.

Boyd said: "It wasn't the end to the season that anybody would have wanted. But when we started out, our goal was just to fulfil all our fixtures and, apart from having to postpone a couple because of Covid, we have done that.

"The results overall have been fantastic and we got ourselves into a position that if we had won our last two matches against Dyce and Deeside we would have won the league."

The coach said the main positive has been getting prematurely retired players to put on their boots again.

"It's been a real positive in getting so many guys back into the club, playing rugby again and, for some of them, going on to play for the 1sts," he said.

The Yellows finished with six wins and four defeats to finish joint third with Highland 3rd XV.

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