The records will show that today was a very warm day in Inverness, which would have been difficult to believe if you had arrived in Inverness at 14:00 for the much anticipated U-16 Regional game series match of Caledonia Midlands against East. The Caledonia Midlands team is drawn from Dunfermline, Falkirk, Glenrothes, Perthshire, Stirling County, and Strathendrick clubs, while the East team catchment is Boroughmuir, Currie Chieftains, Edinburgh Harlequins, Gala, Kelso, Murrayfield Wanderers, and Peebles and Preston Lodge clubs. Strathendrick was represented on the Caledonia Midlands team by back-rower Eve Mackay, inside-back Lucy Ronald, and front-rower Nella Jonsson, Nella making her first appearance for a regional team.
By kick-off at 15:00, the alleged record-breaking warmth had been blown away by 40-knot gusting winds, with heavy cloud and intermittent rain. The Caley Midlands team lost the toss and had to run into the maelstrom. The first 15 minutes of the match was tightly contested, play swinging from one end of the pitch to the other. Caley Midlands looked sharp in attack, resolute in defence, and strong in the pack, despite a clear weight disadvantage. Both sides hit the breakdown hard and fast, with vigorous jackalling and clear-outs. East used the wind effectively with some huge kicks out of trouble from near their try-line, way down into the Caley Midlands twenty-two, but they were unable to capitalise on the wind advantage.
After a few sharp, sniping attacks up the left flank that were neutralized by East, Lucy finally broke some desperate tackles and scurried over for the first try, which she converted into a swirling, gusting wind. From the subsequent kick-off, aggressive chasing, sustained pressure, hard work in the ruck and quick hands led to another try on the right wing. From this point on, the advantage was firmly with Caley Midlands and no-one expected anything other than a Caley Midlands victory. Further tries were added by Lucy and Eve, with Nella getting in a try-assist. The game ended 32-12 in Caley Midland’s favour, with all three Strathendrick girls having excellent games.
Congratulations to the girls on their achievements in being selected for the Caley Midlands squad and for their excellent performances in their first regional match.