Match Report vs Edinburgh Accies
If Stewart’s Melville had manged to pull off a victory, which looked possible as the game entered the final quarter, the result would have gone down as the greatest moment in Gordon Henderson’s coaching career, bearing in mind the form book leading up to the match.
The last ten minutes brought three tries to the hosts as they finally made size and teamwork count. But the relief, judging from the whooping and a’ hollering emanating from the home dressing room at full time, was testament to the efforts of Stewart’s Melville – Accies knew they had been in a game.
In the end, Accies came onto a game with good continuity and ball retention in the backs, a dominant scrum and, in Seydak, a powerful ball receiver. ‘A guid big yin is aye better than a guid wee yin’, to quote a Borders rugby saying.
News during the week from Murrayfield established that Willie Aitken had received a 6 week ban from the SRU Disciplinary Committee. Although no malice was suggested, the guidelines left no margin for leniency. Willie, hopefully, will return to fulfil the role of rolling substitute and coach our young props; certainly, he would have relished the scrap at Raeburn Place. Willie has been a fantastic servant to the club and it is to be hoped that ‘The Bull’ in full flight is a sight that can be seen again at Inverleith.
Another bright autumn Saturday saw Accies kick towards Inverleith Park, and, after a few enforced errors, Accies converted a penalty. Neil Bowie put in a couple of trademark good early hits to disrupt the home three quarters and send a message to the Accies team that we had not turned up merely to make up the numbers. Good pressure led to an Accies mis-kick and Hannay, with work to do, scurried over for a try. Mike Hanning added a penalty.
We were managing to disrupt Accies’ line-out, with Jamie Hodgson, Duncan Wood and Sami Paulsson getting the second bounce. Another good move from Stewart’s Melville saw Mike Hanning accelerate through a gap wide out and run round the dead ball area to give himself an easy conversion.
Accies, although they were twelve points adrift and had a man yellow carded, knew they had plenty of time, and, when they were awarded a penalty, they opted for the attacking line-out and duly trundled over to make the half-time score Accies 8 Stewart’s Melville 15.
The equalising score arrived for Accies minutes into the second half, and, around the hour mark, two penalties gave Accies the lead. Mike replied to narrow the gap to three points. Accies scored to give themselves a cushion but Stewart’s Melville fought back and were themselves denied a try under the posts for double movement.
The last five minutes yielded two converted tries, the last a length of the pitch job from Couper who intercepted as we threw caution to the wind to engineer a break. To be picky, there was a hint of foot in touch about the penultimate try but it wasn’t really a game changer.
Mike and Gregor played beautifully at half back and Sean was a willing runner from full back. In Sami Paulsson we have found a very competitive bundle of energy – any more Swedes out there?
The performance was night and day from the previous week and must have been enjoyable for the players. Although Accies took the spoils on this occasion – how many Nobel Prize Winners for Chemistry have they produced? Step forward Fraser Stoddart, educated at Melville College, who received his award this week.
Full Time Edinburgh Accies 42 Stewart’s Melville 18
Stoddart has developed highly efficient syntheses of mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures such as molecular Borromean rings, catenanes and rotaxanes utilizing molecular recognition and molecular self-assembly processes