National One: Highland move into second with big victory over Cartha QP

Canal Park is only venue in Nat One to beat the frost and comfortable win for Dave Carson's men sets up top of the table clash at Biggar next weekend

Highland were big winners over Cartha Queens Park in the only match in National One to beat the frost. Image: Owen Cochrane
Highland were big winners over Cartha Queens Park in the only match in National One to beat the frost. Image: Owen Cochrane

HIGHLAND beat Cartha Queens Park – and the weather –  on Saturday, to move up to second in the National League One table. The Inverness outfit are now on 45 points after this 57-21 bonus point triumph, ahead of travelling to Hartreemill to take on leaders Biggar (50 points) this coming weekend.

With overnight frost on Friday seeing all five other games in the division called off, Canal Park and its 4G surface took centre stage as Highland hosted a Cartha team who have shown in spells that they can mix it with the best in this league. After an end-to-end first half, Highland led 29-14 at the interval and, crucially, had the bonus point already in the bag.

That allowed them to play with a bit more freedom in the second 40 minutes and they went on to score four more tries in the second half.

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“It was a great victory against a physical and capable Cartha side,” said Highland head coach Dave Carson. “We asked the players to play a wide expansive game and they executed it perfectly. The forwards provided the perfect platform for the backs, led superbly by our stand-off Scott Fraser who put us in the right areas of the field and took the right options. It sets us up nicely for a massive game down in Biggar.”

Mike Gordon, Ruaridh MacDonald, Stuart MacDonald, Seamus Ross, Gordon Gregor, Rupeni Rokoduguni and Oscar Baird (2) scored the Highland tries with Fraser kicking 17 points.

Cartha’s tries were scored by Thomas Pourcharet, Josh McPhail and Michael Robertson, with Wayne Burrows converting all three.

“Credit to Highland, it was always going to be a tough trip,” said Matthew Clark, the Glasgow outfit’s assistant coach. “We showed what we are capable of in snippets of the game, now the challenge for us is to put performances together for the full 80 minutes.”

Cartha are now due to host Gala at Dumbreck this coming weekend.

How it stands –

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About Gary Heatly 457 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.