Three teams from Shetland Junior Rugby Club were able to make their planned trip to Edinburgh this weekend when Eastern Airways stepped in to fly the bairns from Scatsta after their ferry to Aberdeen was cancelled on Friday night.
Thanks to the airline’s help, the under-15 girls, under-14 boys and under-12s were able to go and see Scotland play Italy at Murrayfield ion Saturday, leaving Scatsta at 4pm on Friday. Their weekend was to be capped with a series of games at Murrayfield’s back pitches against Edinburgh Wanderers on Sunday.
An Eastern Airways spokesman said: “It was brought to our attention that the ferry service had been cancelled and the Shetland Junior rugby team were due to travel to Edinburgh. To avoid the disappointment of missing out, Eastern Airways and the Integrated Aviation Consortium (IAC) have agreed to assist, on this occasion, to fly the team on an aircraft that is repositioning from Scatsta to Aberdeen. We hope the boys and girls have a great day out and we’re glad to have been able to help.”
Ferry operators Northlink had earlier come under fire for the disruption caused to sporting organisations for the cancellation of its sailings.
The problem arose afterNorthlink decided last night’s northbound sailing should go no further than Kirkwall because of a poor forecast. As a aresult there was no ferry in Lerwick to complete the southward journey tonight.
Northlink are major sponsors of rugby in the isles, and without their help Rugby coach Dave Wagstaff said: “Without their level of assistance we would not be able to field teams in national leagues and club competiions across all age groups. The assistance given, particularly from the lcoal staff is excellent.”
The cancellations also caused problems for the Shetland women’s hockey team’s match against Highland Ladies 2 on Sunday.