Revenge was sweet for Peterhead on Saturday as they put in a battling performance to get the win against their Highland rivals Inverness Craig Dunain.
Just weeks after Inverness beat Peterhead by one point in the Highland capital they made the journey south for another close encounter.
The home side could not of got off to a worse start however as around three minutes into the game vice-captain, and second row powerhouse, Ryan Rhyderrch was stretchered off the pitch with a suspected broken ankle - which was later confirmed as a bad sprain.
As a result of the injury the pack was forced to reshuffled with loose-head prop Gary Cruden taking to the pitch and front-rower Nathan Smith dropping into the second row.
After a near 25 minute delay play got back under way and both teams looked hungry for the victory.
It was Peterhead who played the better rugby from the outset with Inverness pulled-up time and again at the breakdown for using hands in the ruck and coming in from the side.
The Blue Toon were the ones who managed to open the scoring. After pouring pressure on to Inverness the home side had them pinned back in their own 22.
With Inverness having the put in at the scrum inside their own 22 the Peterhead pack put the opposition forwards under great pressure, forcing them back towards their own tryline.
Although Inverness recovered the ball, they were on the back foot and Kris Chalmers broke from the open-side of the scrum to put the opposition centre under pressure as he looked to kick clear.
The pressure paid off and a miskick bounced into the hands of Stuart Hollis who, from around 25 metres out, beat three players before diving to touchdown in the corner. Scrum-half Stephen Mckee failed to convert the score from an awkward position. Inverness however managed to fight their way into the lead soon after.
The Highland side managing to secure an unconverted try before slotting a penalty over the posts to the dismay of the Peterhead fans.
The Blue Toon fought back quickly though and soon found themselves in a great position in the opponents 22.
Inverness were once again penalised for infringing at the breakdown and Peterhead captain Daniel Smith slotted home three points for the home side taking the score back to 8-8.
The home side were not happy to settle for level pegging at half-time however and pushed up the pitch once more. Again Inverness were penalised at the ruck and kicking supremo Daniel Smith once again slotted the ball over the posts to take the score to 11-8 at half-time.
After the break Peterhead extended their lead, Daniel Smith again racking up the points with the boot taking it to 14-8.
Inverness were not down and out however and started to put Peterhead under real pressure for the first time in the game.
The Highlands managed to get back in front with two converted tries, as a result of missed tackles, taking the score to 21-15.
Hearts on the side-lines started to sink as the game looked to be slipping away from Peterhead.
Captain Daniel Smith once again rose to the occasion however, scoring, and converting, a try after some great work by the Peterhead pack to get the team back up the pitch. Mckee passed the ball to the captain who beat one man before powering over the line to put his team back in front.
With just minutes to go he once again slotted another penalty to take the final score to 25-21. Following the game the club captain said: “It was a brilliant battling performance from the boys today.
“The game seemed lost in the second-half but we dug deep and despite the early loss of our vice captain Ryan Rhyderrch we pulled through for a well deserved win.”
Peterhead’s next match comes in the league away to Strathspey on Saturday.
Starting XV: Nathan Smith, Liam Bain, Mike Crowe, Ryan Rhyderrch, Toby Johnson, Kris Chalmer, Steve Smith, James Scarisbrick. Stephen Mckee, Daniel Smith, Adam Stephen, Oliver Christie, Stuart Whyte, Stuart Hollis, Nat Johnson. Substitutes: Gary Cruden, Peter Oliphant, Kyle Hutton, Scott Robertson