National One round-up: Heriot’s move clear in second after home win over Highland

Biggar remain front-runners after comfortable victory on the road against bottom of the table Dundee High

Heriot's defence played a big role in their victory over Highland.
Heriot's defence played a big role in their victory over Highland. Image: Jonathan Cruickshank/Hertiot's Rugby

HERIOT’S put in a solid performance to defeat Highland in the second versus third battle in National League Division One on Saturday.

The Edinburgh side’s groundsman Simon Theurer put in sterling work during the morning to make sure the Goldenacre pitch was playable and Heriot’s managed to secure a 24-8 bonus point triumph against the men from Inverness, with a bumper crowd of around 500 watching on.

Try scorers for the hosts were Cameron Lineen, Louis Meynier (2) and John Rae, with Graham Wilson kicking the rest of the points.

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“The boys did really well to get five points against a good Highland side,” said Heriot’s head coach Jamie Parker. “We were pretty rusty in attack, but it was always going to be that way having not played for four weeks, and we defended really well.

“There were four debuts, three of them under-18s who are still at school, and I was happy with how they went which gives some positive selection issues this coming week when others come back.”

Highland’s points in the defeat came from an Andrew Findlater try and a penalty from Scott Fraser.

Biggar have played a match more than Heriot’s and are 10 points ahead of them at the top of the table after a 52-5 win at Dundee High. The away team controlled proceedings from the early stages at Mayfield and they scored eight tries through Ross Bradford (2), Ewan Stewart (2), Ross Jackson, Chris Mulligan, Mark Bertram and Andy Jardine. The latter also kicked six conversions. Dundee’s sole try came from Ruaridh Hood.

Melrose are fourth, and now just two points behind Highland, after a 26-19 win at Ayr. The match at Millbrae had to be cut short at 68 minutes due to floodlight issues, but the result stands and Scotland under-18 hopeful Kieran Clark showed his quality for Melrose.

Ben McLean’s unconverted score put the Borderers 5-0 up before Ben Cree’s effort, converted by Andy Morrison, gave Ayr a 7-5 advantage. A Clark converted score made it 12-7 to Melrose before Cree’s second put Ayr back in front 14-12.

In an end to end first half, Melrose were soon 19-14 up when Clark bagged his second, but once again Ayr came back and things were level at the interval after Camie Black’s score. An early converted try in the second half gave Melrose the four score bonus point and things ended 26-19.

“I thought we dug out and excellent result in tough conditions,” said Melrose head coach Stuart Johnston. “Our forwards gave us a really good platform to play off and our maul was excellent with Christian Smit controlling the game well at 10, and Kieran Clark showed why he is in the Scottish under-18 squad with a hat-trick.

“I felt we were always in control of the game, but shot ourselves in the foot at times and I felt sorry for Ayr having to call the game off early, nobody wants to win a game that way.”

Tenth placed Kelso are now 11 points ahead of the drop zone after they toughed out a 19-11 Border derby win against Gala. Andy Tait, Archie Cowens and Gareth Walker scored the tries for the victors at Poynder Park with Craig Dods kicking two conversions. Andrew Mitchell scored the Gala try and Dean Keddie kicked two penalties.

The  Watsonians versus Cartha Queens Park and Boroughmuir versus Stirling Wolves were postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

National League Division One results –

Ayr 19 Melrose 26

Kelso 19 Gala 11

Heriot’s 24 Highland 8

Dundee High 5 Biggar 52

How it stands –

Heriot's Blues19145067236530716173
Stirling Wolves18981413429-166347
Cartha QP197111559587-2811445
Dundee High203170313695-3823116

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Gary Heatly
About Gary Heatly 175 Articles
Gary has had a love for both rugby and writing for as far back as he can remember. Having cut his teeth in the ‘real world’ of journalism at the Midlothian Advertiser local newspaper for a couple of years between 2005 and 2007, he has since been kept busy covering sport, mainly rugby. He was a member of the editorial team at SCRUM Magazine for 11 years until recently and now provides regular rugby content to various national and local newspapers, magazines and websites via his company GH Media as well as hosting a podcast. Twitter: G_HMedia