Edinburgh Accies 10
COLIN RENTON @ Hawthornden
ELEVEN-TRY Boroughmuir kept alive their slender hopes of securing a top-four finish with a clinical dismantling of Tennent’s Premiership strugglers Edinburgh Accies in a rearranged fixture played at Lasswade’s Hawthornden due to the unavailability of Meggetland.
While it would take some surprise results to bag a play-off berth, Boroughmuir could have a big say in who does feature in the knockout phase, with matches against the top three still to come. And adding to the satisfaction for coach Peter Wright were the contributions from Chris Laidlaw and Archie Russell who were returning from long-term injuries.
“You can’t grumble – it’s a good start to the new year,” Wright said. “The difficulty in games like that is holding your shape and we held it for 80 minutes pretty well.
“We scored a lot of power tries. The forwards played pretty well, the lineout went well, the breakdown was solid. We scored at the right times – we scored at the end of the second half and scored right at the start of the second half. It’s pleasing. To take 70 points off anybody in the premiership is not a bad thing – so I’m happy.”
He is now relishing the upcoming challenges, adding, “We’ve got four really tough games coming, which is good.”
By contrast, his Accies counterpart Derek O’Riordan was furious at the way his men played. “I’m pretty angry, to be honest. That was an embarrassing display. Irrespective of the challenges that we’ve had all season, that’s not what we are about as a club and as a team”, fumed the Irishman. “We need to take a long look inside ourselves and decide whether or not we accept that as our standards going into Hawick next week, Hawks the week after and Watsonians the week after that. If we turn up like we did today, then our fate is sealed.”
A rare shaft of light on a gloomy day for Accies was the performance of teenage full-back Harry Paterson, who looked threatening with ball in hand, was brave in defence and created the late consolation score.
Accies made a lively start and struck first through a Richard Mill penalty. But from that point onwards it was the hosts who assumed control. Callum Atkinson set the tone when he stretched over, and he was swiftly joined on the score sheet by Mat Walker who claimed a touchdown that was converted by Gavin Parker.
And the tally continued to mount in two-minute increments when Archie Russell pounced on a midfield spillage and sprinted over, then Rory Drummond bagged the bonus point score in 17 minutes following a close-range penalty that earned Accies scrum-half Max Love a yellow card. Parker landed both conversions, but was off the mark with his next effort after Craig Keddie profited from a deft flip inside by Walker to dot down for number five.
Restored to full strength, Accies enjoyed a spell in the ascendancy and Michael Badenhorst charged clear, only for Tom Wilson to dislodge the ball from the flanker’s grasp within sight of the whitewash. Try number six came just before the break, with Johnny Matthews scrambling over following a lineout. Parker’s conversion completed the first-half scoring.
The second half resumed in the same vein and the irrepressible Matthews claimed two more converted scores to take the tally past the half century. A lull in the Boroughmuir supremacy allowed Accies a chance to attack, but the determination to avoid conceding a try was exemplified by a crunching tackle by Jack Steele on Love that brought gasps from the crowd.
The scoring resumed with Jordan Edmunds crossing for number nine, then Matthews completed a well-worked lineout move for his fourth of the afternoon and Will Inglis produced an impressive side step on his way to the line – Parker converting all three.
A few minutes from time Robert Lovett became the second Accies player to be binned, but the losers finished with a defiant flourish, with Jamie Sole plunging over for a consolation score and Mill adding the conversion. However, it was too little too late to assuage O’Riordan’s anger.
Boroughmuir: C Gossman; K Gossman, A Russell, J Steele, J Edmunds; G Parker, T Wilson; R Dunbar, J Matthews©, R Montgomery, C Atkinson, S Smith, C Keddie, M Walker, R Drummond. Subs: D Robertson, A Mncube, C Atkinson, M Johnstone, C Laidlaw.
Edinburgh Accies: H Paterson; C Gray, R Chalmers, R Wilson, R Kent; R Mill, M Love; C Imrie, C Black, M McCallum, R Lovett, T Welding, M Badenhorst, J Sole©, J Mann. Subs: R Simpson, M McGinley, A Inwood, S Johnson, N Armstrong.
Boroughmuir: Tries: Atkinson, Walker, Russell, Drummond, Keddie, Matthews 4, Edmunds, Inglis. Conversions: Parker 9.
Edinburgh Accies: Try: Sole. Con: Mill. Pen: Mill.
Scoring sequence (Boroughmuir first): 0-3; 5-3; 10-3; 12-3; 17-3; 19-3; 24-3; 26-3; 31-3; 36-3; 38-3 (h-t) 43-3; 45-3; 50-3; 52-3; 57-3; 59-3; 64-3; 66-3; 71-3; 73-3; 73-8; 73-10.
Yellow cards –
Edinburgh Accies: Love, Lovett.
Referee: K Allen.
Man of the match: It has to be Johnny Matthews, who modestly claimed he was only finishing off the good work of his colleagues. But there is more to it than that when the Boroughmuir hooker bags four tries in a game and leads the overall scoring charts.
Talking point: If Boroughmuir had struck this form earlier in the campaign, they could have been contenders. However, while they have only an outside chance of making the top four, they could yet have a big say in how events pan out over the coming weeks.