BT Premiership: Johnny Matthews is Boroughmuir’s superman

Image: © Craig Watson -



COLIN RENTON @ Meggetland

BOROUGHMUIR tasted victory for the first time this season when they squeezed home in an edgy affair, which was decided in the 86th minute of a match featuring some excellent rugby and as tense a finale as anyone in the crowd could have hoped for.

In fact, many might have preferred a little less excitement and home coach Peter Wright joked in the immediate aftermath that his pulse rate was still above 200 beats. For the neutral, it was another engrossing affair in a league that continues to serve up incredible entertainment week after week.

The overriding emotion in the home camp was of relief, although Wright was frustrated by his side’s mix of outstanding rugby and repeated lapses.

“The whole week was geared to getting a win. We play so well and then play rubbish. Some of our decision making at times is awful and other times it’s absolutely outstanding. The tries came from the outstanding stuff,” he said.

“The win was the most important thing. What we need to do now is take the good stuff  which was really good  and try to improve on the decision making, because that’s what is hurting us. I’m happy we have won, we’ve broken our duck. That’s good for confidence. It was a good game of rugby. There were mistakes but the mistakes made it a good game.”


Eastern BMW are proud to support Boroughmuir Rugby

Marr raced into action and their early pressure paid off in eight minutes when Colin Sturgeon made a powerful break. He was halted by a crunching Matt Walker tackle but the recycled ball was popped up for Greig Jackson, who blasted his way over. Sturgeon added the conversion.

The home side responded with a penalty by Ciaran Whyte before enjoying a spell in the ascendancy. Skipper for the day Johnny Matthews had already offered a glimpse of his pace with a run from deep. That effort came to nothing but, when he had another go in 19 minutes, it paid off in style. As he headed for the line, the hooker was brought down just short by a tap tackle but bounced back to his feet and dived over the whitewash. Whyte’s conversion handed the hosts a three point lead that was cancelled out four minutes later when Sturgeon banged over a penalty.

Boroughmuir’s Achilles heel so far this season has been the failure to capitalise on periods of pressure. They looked to have addressed that weakness and their supremacy yielded two further touchdowns before the interval.

The first came when they were thwarted just short and the recycled ball was swept along the line to Greg Cannie, whose pass freed Ronan Kerr to dot down in the corner. Whyte was off target with the conversion attempt, but he added the extras after Jordan Edmunds picked up and plunged over for a third Boroughmuir try with a couple of minutes of the first half to play. That handed the Edinburgh men a 22-10 advantage as the teams headed for the dressing rooms.

Marr resumed with a more direct approach and a series of pick and drive attempts paid off when Fraser Grant found a way through the home defence to touch down and leave Sturgeon a straightforward conversion.

Boroughmuir bounced back to claim the bonus point try through the irrepressible Matthews, who threw in at a close range lineout then took the return and darted over.

Marr were not yet ready to surrender and they bagged a third try when William Farquhar bludgeoned his way over. Sturgeon converted then squared matters when he booted a penalty.

The home side had a chance to regain the initiative when Aubrey MnCube was tackled in mid-air, although no card was shown, and the visitors escaped unpunished when Whyte tugged his penalty effort wide of the target.

But, perhaps stirred by what they saw as an error by the referee, Boroughmuir took the lead once more when Matthews, who was involved at Scotland age group level courtesy of a mother who hails from Glasgow, raced over to complete his hat trick. Whyte’s conversion established a seven point cushion with three minutes plus a hefty dollop of injury time to play.

Marr were not ready to concede and they rumbled ever closer to the whitewash before a heroic home defence was eventually breached when Farquhar blasted over. Sturgeon chose the wrong moment to commit his only error with the boot and leave the Ayrshiremen with two bonus points, while the hosts headed off to celebrate a success that Wright will be looking to build on over the coming weeks.               

Eastern BMW are proud to support Boroughmuir Rugby

Teams –

Boroughmuir: G Cannie; D Hoyland, R Kerr, M Hare, J Edmunds; C Whyte, J Adams; R Dunbar, J Matthews, D Winning, T Drennan, D Marek, A Mncube, M Walker, C Keddie. Subs: C Davis, D Robertson, G McConnell, J Troxler, B Mills.

Marr: C Kolarik; T Buchanan, C Bickerstaff, C Sturgeon, R Dalgleish; D Steele, K Barreto; G Jackson, J Malcolm, W Farquhar, G Peterson, E Bulger, M Pearce, A Johnston, F Grant. Subs: S Adair, N Wallace, K Vallance, R Jackson, G Paxton.

Scorers – 

Boroughmuir: Tries: Matthews 3, Kerr, Edmunds; Cons: Whyte 3; Pen: Whyte.

Marr: Tries: Jackson, Grant, Farquhar 2; Cons: Sturgeon 3; Pens: Sturgeon 2

Scoring Sequence (Boroughmuir first): ); o-5, 0-7, 3-7, 8-7, 10-7, 10-10, 15-10, 20-10, 22-10 (h-t) 22-15, 22-17, 27-17, 27-22, 27-24, 27-27, 32-27, 34-27, 34-32.

Yellow Cards – 

Boroughmuir: Dunbar

Referee: C Rudkin

Man-of-the-Match: Captain for the day, Johnny Matthews led by example with a performance that featured accurate throwing, a big contribution in open play and, of course, three vital tries.

Talking Point: Having come up just short on several occasions so far, it was vital for Boroughmuir to record a win. They have the means to build on this and will now be relishing next week’s derby away to Heriot’s

About Colin Renton 296 Articles
Colin has been a freelance writer on various subjects for more than 20 years. He covers rugby at all levels but is particularly passionate about the game at grass roots. As a fluent French speaker, he has a keen interest in rugby in France and for many years has reported on the careers of Scots who have moved across the Channel. He appreciates high quality, engaging writing that is thought provoking, and hopes that some of his work fits that bill!