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Fixture frustration continues for Caithness Rugby Club after further call-offs against Moray

By Iain Grant

Almost three full months into the rugby season, the Greens are still waiting to play their first game at Millbank.

Moray, who were due to travel north with 1sts and 2nds on Saturday, were the fourth successive call-off.

Acting Greens head coach Cameron Boyd said that given the road conditions on Saturday, he could not quibble with the decision – but he did take issue with how the Elgin side had dealt with the call-off last Friday evening.

“I would say they did not conduct themselves very well,” he said.

Acting Greens head coach Cameron Boyd.
Acting Greens head coach Cameron Boyd.

“We had arranged the catering and everything else for two visiting sides. We actually heard they had called off from the brother of one of their players who happens to work with one of our players.

“Shortly after, Moray got in touch to confirm they were not coming.”

Boyd pointed out that the warnings about Storm Babet had been publicised from early in the week, adding: “Looking at the road conditions on Saturday, I think the right decision was made. It’s just the timings and the lack of communication that got to me.”

Moray seniors manager and fixture secretary Gregor Hinds defended his club’s position, saying he had told his Caithness counterpart on Thursday that both Moray sides were primed to come up, subject to a review of the weather conditions.

“It was then a case of playing it by ear and leaving it as late as possible to make the final call as you can’t always trust the weather reports,” he said.

Mr Hinds said the bus company on Friday was not happy to make the trip.

“The Kessock and Dornoch Bridges were closed to high-sided vehicles and taken along with the latest forecast, we took the decision that it was not safe to travel.

“I can fully understand the frustration Caithness feel about another call-off but it was unavoidable.”

Boyd meantime is preparing for the rescheduled visit of RAF Lossiemouth on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm, as they search for their first win, and indeed, point in the Caledonia One North Conference.

The servicemen were forced to call off on September 9 after six of their players had to pull out late on after being deployed on ‘special duties’.

Boyd said: “We have Mackie at home the following week so I’m just hoping nothing stops both going ahead.

“The call-offs are getting beyond a joke and our players are getting really frustrated about it.”

With both Caithness sides without a fixture, a bounce 13-a-side game was organised at Millbank last Saturday afternoon.

While marred by heavy showers and a howling wind, the coach was impressed by the effort and commitment of those who took part.

He expects the squad to be similar on Saturday though centre, serviceman Jordan Miller, is unavailable as he has now returned to join his regiment in York.

Boyd said: “I thought Moray was a winnable game for us and I believe we can be competitive with any team in the league.”

Caithness Seconds are also at home on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm on the adjoining pitch versus Highland Thirds in Caley North Division Two.

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