Northlink Moves Into Extra Time For Scotland Rugby Test Aberdeen
Tuesday, 04 November 2008
NorthLink Ferries, which operates the lifeline services between the Northern Isles and the Scottish mainland, will move into extra time for the northbound sailing on Saturday, November 22 in order to accommodate islanders returning home after the Scotland v Canada rugby Test Match at Pittodrie Stadium in Aberdeen.
The Scotland rugby side rarely plays home Test matches outwith their Murrayfield base and Orkney and Shetland rugby clubs had asked NorthLink to delay departure so that club members and islanders intending to make the trip could return home overnight.
NorthLink Ferries is a long-time sponsor of both rugby clubs and commercial director Cynthia Spencer said: "We were approached by the clubs who asked if we could delay departure from Aberdeen so as to allow fans to get from Pittodrie to the ferry terminal.
"The Test match kicks-off at 2.45 and is scheduled to end about 4.10. Aberdeen check-in for the Kirkwall-Lerwick service would normally close at 4.30 but we have extended check-in time to 5.30 with a view to getting under way as soon as all passengers have checked in. Hopefully, that gives fans enough time to get across town and on board," she said.
Orkney RFC chairman Rodney Spence said: "It's not often that we get the opportunity to see Scotland playing in Aberdeen so a party from the club will be going down to watch the International match and, hopefully, to get a game in ourselves on the Saturday morning.
"Young Sam Croy, youngest son of club member Ian Croy, is also to be a Scotland mascot at the game so there's added interest so far as the club is concerned.
"Our first XV have a home match so can't make the trip but the seconds and a selection from the Mini and Midi sections will also be making the trip. It wouldn't have been possible to see the game and get to the ferry terminal if the boat had kept to its regular routine so many thanks to NorthLink for accommodating us and thanks, also to fellow islanders who will be slightly delayed," he said.
Paul Woods, junior section coach at Shetland RFC, said: "We aim to have about two dozen youngsters from our Junior Section on the trip. For some of them it will be the first time that they will have had the opportunity to see Scotland playing 'live' and hopefully it will be a great experience for them - with the right result!
Shetland will also be represented by a young mascot at the match - Paul's son Magnus (9) will, like his Orkney counterpart Sam, be part of the pre-match Pittodrie line-up.
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