Good start but Toon fail to capitalise

Peterhead hosted Shetland in the first match of the Caledonia Division Three North match.

Prior to kick-off the game on paper was down as an easy Shetland win - given that the last time these sides squared up, it finished 81-0 to the islanders at Lerwick.

Shetland had travelled with a strong squad and Peterhead knew this was not going to be an easy game.

For nearly 20 minutes the score remained 0-0 as the match played out as a tight one, with both sides seeing good possession and territory.

Shetland broke the deadlock around the 25 minute mark. Following a failed penalty attempt by the home side from the 10m line Shetland reacted quickly with a 22m drop out.

The home side were caught unawares and the Shetland winger launched onto it making a powering run down the wing, Peterhead were guilty of missing a few tackles, and he scored. Shetland kick the conversion to bring the score to 0-7.

Throughout the rest of the half it was fairly even until the last minute when Peterhead were awarded a penalty after a Shetland player went off his feet at the ruck. It was taken quickly by Daniel Smith, who powered through the Shetland defence and scored.

It was a good time to score to lift the heads of the home team just before the break. D Smith also converted to level the score.

Some very good rucking from the Peterhead pack allowed Stephen Mckee to release the backs, allowing them to gain good ground, and a pop pass to Scarisbrick was met with Lomu-like pace and power and he went over the try line for Peterhead’s second try. The conversion was missed however bringing the score to 12-7.

Around the hour mark Peterhead were briefly reduced to 14 men as Toby Johnson was judged to have came in from the side of the ruck and the referee had little choice but to sin-bin him as a result of his earlier infringements.

This was arguably the turning point in the game. To account for the loss of Johnson, Peterhead supremo Neil Davidson opted to take Thacker off and give Patterson his debut.

A Stephen Smith clearance kick was blocked and chased down by the Shetland players, there was not enough cover in defence and Shetland scored.The try was not converted however.

Five minutes later Shetland scored another try sealing their victory. In Peterhead’s 22, the Shetland fly-half opted for a chip above the Peterhead players and the luck of the bounce ensured it met a Shetland player’s hands and he dived under the posts to score an excellent try.

The conversion was scored and Shetland took the game to 12-19. Next game is at Catto Park, Peterhead, on Saturday against Huntly at 3pm.