Edinburgh Accies 38
ALAN LORIMER @ Riverside Park
JED-FOREST may have suffered a defeat to Edinburgh Accies but for the Riverside club their performance against the Raeburn Place side was a triumph over the adversity of having to put together a make-shift pack that included the 44-year old John Szkudro, and fellow veterans Fraser Harkness and Donald Grieve.
“The final scoreline is great encouragement for us considering we were staring down the barrel of big defeat,” said the Jed coach Gavin Kerr. “We went into this game with injury problems up front and having had to pull in guys on Thursday. But we know we’ve got players coming back and so we won’t panic.”
For all their problems, Jed contributed hugely to a match that produced eleven tries in total and which had a thrilling final quarter in which the home side fought back from 7-33 down to score four tries and claim two bonus points, as well as come desperately close to pulling off an against-the-odds win.
Despite the denouement, Accies always looked in control, through their scrum forward domination and the clever running of their half-backs Max Love, who finished with a hat-trick of tries, and Jamie Loomes. The visitors, however, will reflect on their failure to turn a near monopoly of possession and territory into first half points.
“We didn’t capitalise much in the first half given the territorial advantage we had,” admitted Accies coach Iain Berthinussen, who certainly felt the pressure in the later stages of the match, when his side had to play without double yellow carded flanker Patrick O’Sullivan. “It was a crazy last quarter. Going down to fourteen men didn’t help. I think the energy sapped a bit.”
Accies took 16 minutes before turning pressure into scores, their first points coming from a driving maul that ended with Sean Crombie touching down. Then, after a break by Loomes, scrum-half Love dashed over for a try converted by Richard Mill for a 12-0 interval lead.
Accies looked sharper in the second half when they began to find holes in a Jed defence that had resisted bravely for the first 40 minutes. It was Loomes who did the damage once again, the Accies stand-off scoring a solo try and then adding the extras.
Not to be outdone, Love grabbed a second half try after some clever inter-passing from his team-mates, and Loomes’ conversion extended Accies lead to 26-0.
Jed, however, were in no mood to be flattened and after they had been thwarted four times over the Accies line they finally broke through with a Monty Mitchell try converted by Robbie Yourston. In the process, Accies suffered a second yellow card, and therefore a red card for O’Sullivan.
Premiership match reports:
Despite being a man down, Accies were able to add to their points tally as skipper Love skipped over to complete his hat-trick, Loomes making the score a seven pointer.
The scoreline may have looked dire, but this seemed to act as a spur for Jed. Inspired by a powerful run from Harkness, redolent of his glory days, Jed’s replacement Ben McNeil, one of the successes in the home pack, barrelled over.
Jed’s resurgence was briefly halted by a crisp handling move, in which Mill was the pivotal player, that ended with replacement Nick Hall crossing for Accies sixth try.
But in a dramatic finish Jed turned used turnover ball to release Callum Young for a length-of-the field try which the wing converted. Then with the clock ticking on to full time, Lewis Young sprinted to the line before adding the conversion points.
Could Jed achieve the near impossible? Well, no. Accies forwards wound down the clock efficiently to maintain their lead and claim a bonus point victory. But for Jed their two points was as welcome as it seemed unlikely at the outset.
Jed-Forest: L Young; C Young, R Marshall, R Yourston, G Munro; M Mitchell, N Stingl; G Paxton, C Lothian, H Meadows, K Amos, J Szkudro, D Wardrop, E Lauder, D Grieve. Subs: F Campbell, A Keeler, M Campbell, F Harkness, S Paxton.
Edinburgh Accies: B Appleson; M Cairnes, R Wilson, , R Mill, R Cameron; J Loomes, M Love; S Gunn, S Crombie, C Imrie, D Dinnen, A Inwood, P O’Sullivan, C Thomson, R Campbell. Subs: N Hall, F MacKenzie, J Bruce, M Sinclair, W Stephen.
Referee: M Todd
Jed-Forest: Tries: Mitchell, Campbell, McNeil, C Young, L Young: Cons: Yourston 2, C Young, L Young
Edinburgh Accies: Tries Crombie, Love 3, Loomes, Hall: Cons: Mill, Loomes 3.
Scoring Sequence (Jed first): 0-5, 0-10, 0-12 (ht) 0-17, 0-19, 0-24, 0-26, 5-26, 7-26, 7-31, 7-33, 12-33, 14-33, 19-33, 19-38, 24-38, 26-38, 31-38, 33-38
Yellow cards –
Edinburgh Accies: O’Sullivan (x2=red)
Man-of-the-Match: Accies stand-off Jamie Loomes was effective but Jed’s Callum Young produced the try of the match and, throughout this enthralling game, the wing defended intelligently and always looked to counter attack when the opportunities arose. Moreover he is useful with the boot. Like his brothers Lewis and Gregor, Callum looks to have the talents to become a potent rugby player. Scotland sevens perhaps?
Talking point: Having a massive share of possession is not always what a team needs. Edinburgh Accies, who admittedly are still moulding a new group of players into a team, experienced this phenomenon in the first half against Jed, with only two tries to show for about 95% of possession. Yet, in the second half, when Jed began to win more ball, Accies scored four tries, the simple conclusion being that one team needs to play off the other. In other words turnover ball is king.