Down Inverleith Way 5
Another relaxing Saturday afternoon on the touchline at Inverleith! Eventually, a win for the Senior 1st XV – but not before the faithful had been put through the mincer and spat out several times.
It all started so well – apart from Connor McKay having to leave the field in the opening minutes injured (his mother and father displayed precious little sympathy) – and pressure was rewarded with an early try and conversion. Hopes were high but, all too soon, the self destruct button was pushed as a loose pass allowed Peebles a 70 metre interception goal. The Borderers were back in the game and a pattern was established – the RBG mounting considerable pressure only to let the Gytes men off the hook by errors in handling turning over possession. Another goal was given away and only a penalty by “Happy” made the score close (10-14) at half-time.
The second half started in similar fashion but, eventually, Stew-Mel made their pressure tell and scored more 3 tries to procure the first bonus point of the campaign. The last 20 minutes, despite the inclement weather, were the best of the season so far as the players showed real mettle and not a little grit and determination to get all five points. If handling errors and faulty ball retention can be corrected then the prognosis looks healthy, although a visit to Prestonpans (one we will make next Saturday) is always fraught with danger!
Kevin Murchie will give an excellent review of the game, but Ruaridh Mitchell’s vital try deserves a special mention. It is no mean feat for a prop to display a side-step, swerve and hand-off in a 2 metre dash for the line! So a tense spell for spectators but an enjoyable weekend looking at our elevated 4th position in National 2.
A special word for referee La Toya Mason, who travelled all the way from Yorkshire to take charge of the game. She controlled proceedings with authority and no little humour. One instruction to the forwards at a line-out not to “take the p*ss“, at one and the same time, brought control to the situation — and a number of chuckles! Not her fault (especially without assistant referees), but how is the off-side line law to be administered? This problem stifled much attacking intent during proceedings on Saturday.
The Development XV travelled to Mansfield Park, always a difficult place to play, but, despite losing, came away with a creditable 27-19 loss. They look to get back on the horse next week when they again take on Border opposition, this time Selkirk at Inverleith.
The Super 6 squads were announced this week and there are a number of Stew Mel players sprinkled amongst the franchises.
Ayr: Ross Thomson
Boroughmuir: Ewan Stewart
Heriot’s: Scott Riddell and Jack Blain
Watsonians: Connor Boyle, Jamie Hodgson and Finn Hobbis
You might also have noticed that two RBG players were turning out for English Premiership clubs on Saturday – Callum Hunter-Hill for Saracens and Isaac Miller for Worcester. Also well done to Andrew Kelly who has just been appointed to the Nails franchise as head coach. Last heard his father was seeking asylum in Bolivia!
Talking of Heriot’s, the College teams faced them in the conference last Saturday and came away with a clean sweep. The 1st XV gave a slightly stuttering performance, and, although the winning score of 38-12 was well deserved, it was also slightly flattering. The U16A XV also conjured up a notable result against a very strong Heriot’s squad. This rivalry no doubt has a long way to run during the course of the season!
The above two teams also progressed through round 3 of the cup, the 1st XV winning at Glenalmond by 7-35 whilst the U16’s travelled to Cupar and came through against Bell Baxter by 7-40.
Lastly, when talking about matches against old rivals Merchiston, it is always enjoyable to admit a mistake when it goes your way. The College 2nd XV won 19-14 rather than losing!
See you at Prestonpans or Inverleith on Saturday?