Haddington 8 Orkney 11

HADDINGTON’S hopes of avoiding relegation from National 3 remain in their own hands, despite defeat to Orkney on Saturday.

The home side went into the match having recorded just their second league win of the season at Perthshire the week previous.

Head coach Rhodri Thomas recalled captain Liam Clutton at scrum-half, with Alex Ferguson moving to stand-off to replace Paul Cunningham, away on Scotland U18 duty, while Kyle Adams also returned on the wing. Up front, Charlie Hamilton returned to the second row as Alex Cunningham dropped out injured, while Ross Turner, Harry Hamilton and Mark Renton were back on the bench.

Full-back Sam Morley kicked a first-half penalty for the home side, but the islanders turned round at the break ahead thanks to two penalties (3-6).

In the second period, the visitors struck first as they extended their advantage with the game’s first try. There was no conversion but Haddington now had a mountain to climb to win the game.

The Reds got back into the game thanks to the power of replacement prop David Bergvall, who drove over despite the best efforts of the Orkney defence. Morley, who had earlier missed a penalty, as did stand-off Ferguson, converted to give the hosts a bonus point.

Haddington moved off the bottom of the table after Dalziel were thrashed 89-17 by Highland.

Tenth-place Perthshire’s 73-13 drubbing by Murrayfield Wanderers means they are only three points clear of the Reds, who visit Hillhead Jordanhill on Saturday.

Haddington: S Morley, K Adams, J Ferguson, K Hamilton, J Dewar; A Ferguson, L Clutton; M Dunlop, C Stuart, P Smith, B Laing, C Hamilton, G Gillfors, J Riddell, P Brown.