2nd XV vs Boroughmuir: Match Report
Stew/Mel welcomed Big Clarky, Troy and Sam Blackwood back to competitive action for the first time this season at a windy Meggetland.
The Stew/Mel team took the field with a Michael/Mike/Michael 10/12/13 combo so the backs were all christened ‘Michael’ or ‘Mike’ for the day to avoid confusion.
Stew/Mel played with the wind in the first half, and, for a good proportion of the first 20 minutes, set up camp in the Boroughmuir 22. Constant pressure at scrum time yielded several penalties for Stew/Mel, with the ’Muir loose head unable to keep his left hand off the ground. One such occasion allowed Mickey to open the scoring with a long range shot at goal, sending Stew/Mel into a 3 point lead.
Continued pressure and great defensive work kept ’Muir at bay, and, when they were caught offside – not for the first time in the match and certainly not the last – Mickey extended Stew/Mel’s lead to 6 points with another shot at goal.
Later in the first half, both sides missed chances to keep the scoreboard moving, and, towards the end of the first half, Dave Tweedie had a couple of uncomfortable incidents.
The first was when Dave showed his opposite winger the outside and the ’Muir player said ‘Thank you very much!’ and put the afterburners on, going straight past Dave. Luckily the attack was dealt with by Primmy – much to Dave’s relief.
The second incident took place in the Stew/Mel 22 on the stroke of half time. Stew/Mel won a penalty in the 22, 15m in from touch, and captain Adam Howie established from the ref that time was up and that Stew/Mel only had to kick the ball into touch to signal the end of an encouraging first half of rugby for Stew/Mel.
Michael Hooks casually tried to kick the ball into touch, but, instead, the ball hit Dave Tweedie (or Dave Tweedie got in the way of the ball) and this allowed Boroughmuir to launch one final attack on the Stew/Mel line in the first half. Thankfully for Dave, no more points were scored in the first half, and Dave only had to deal with Ben’s harsh (but fair) words as the players formed a huddle near half way for some half time mini Jelly Babies.
Half time score: Boroughmuir 0 – Stewart’s Melville 6.
With the wind now behind ’Muir’s backs in the second half, Stew/Mel were kept down in their 22 for long periods – but, no matter what ’Muir threw at them, the Stew/Mel defensive line remained intact.
Two ’Muir penalties levelled the score at 6 all mid way through the second half – a nervous time for all watching on the touchline. ’Muir pressure, assisted by the wind, continued, and the Stew/Mel backs continued to attempt to clear the ball to touch and move play away from the Stew/Mel 22. One such attempted clearance from Michael Hobbs resulted in the wind catching the ball, which landed in just about the same spot from where it was kicked (more on this later).
Stew/Mel continued to play some good continuity rugby and both teams enjoyed the odd half break, but no more points. This changed following a break up the left wing by Dave Tweedie, who just managed to pass the ball infield before he ran into touch; Michael Hanning collected the ball and crossed the Boroughmuir line to score the first try of the afternoon. Mickey missed the conversion, on a tough afternoon for the goal kickers, and the try took the score to Boroughmuir 6 Stewart’s Melville 11.
Shortly after, Mickey broke through the Boroughmuir line around the half way line, and, with a couple of ‘Muir defenders chasing him, all he had to do was to run for the corner flag to score Stew/Mel’s 2nd try of the afternoon. Mickey’s post try celebration of pistols blazing and a forward roll showed he was well pleased! With the final kick of the game Mickey pushed the conversion wide, before the ref signalled the end of the game and a great win for Stew/Mel.
Final score: Boroughmuir 6 Stewart’s Melville 16.
This win took Stew/Mel to the top of the league, but only on games won. Stew/Mel currently lie 5th in the table on points difference.
All of the players and management were delighted with the win and the changing room was full of energy after the game, despite the choice of music (not sure it is as bad as the 1st XV choice, though!)
Post-match awards went to Mickey and Michael Hook. Mickey received the ‘smoking jacket’ for Man of the Match and Michael received the ‘Pink Lady’s Cardigan’ (after a close battle with Dave Tweedie) for Dick of the Day, for his kick mentioned earlier in the report.
Most of the boys returned to Inverleith swiftly after the game and boarded a bus to Cowdenbeath for an excellent evening at the Stock Car racing. Many thanks to the Captain of the ‘Stew/Mel ship’, Scott Brewster, for arranging the evening. Brewster counted 36 players, coaches and management off the bus and 36 back onto the bus at the end of the night – because ‘no one gets left behind’ on a Stew/Mel trip (after the Black Al incident).
Acting 2nd XV Team Manager