National Youth Boys’ U18 Cup final: Boroughmuir defeat Peebles Colts to make it three in a row

Boroughmuir defeated Peebles Colts in the final of the National Youth U18 Cup. Image: Scottish Rugby / SNS
Boroughmuir defeated Peebles Colts in the final of the National Youth U18 Cup. Image: Scottish Rugby / SNS

Boroughmuir 22

Peebles Colts 5

ALAN LORIMER @BT Murrayfield
BOROUGHMUIR confirmed themselves as the dominant under-18 club side this season after adding the National Youth U18 Cup accolade to their top finish in the National Conference with victory over a gritty Peebles Colts team at BT Murrayfield, to make it three-in-a row in the knock-out competition for the Meggetland side. 

This was a performance by Boroughmuir built on a quick-engaging and solid defence and an ability to optimise chances. It was an efficient rather than a flashy victory but as they say, they all count.

“It wasn’t a pretty win” observed Boroughmuir’s stand-in head coach Alex Toolis. “The boys made it hard for themselves with silly mistakes, dropped balls, and some poor discipline. That kept Peebles in the game but credit to them they just didn’t give up. It was a lot more stressful game than it needed to be but it was still a win.

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“I’m probably being a bit too critical of the Boroughmuir guys because I know how good they can be. I think they didn’t play to their potential. I think the postponement played a part. Some team cohesion might have been lost. But that’s no excuse: we should still be able to do the simple things well.

“Hopefully next season the final will be on time and for us and Scottish rugby in general that will be a huge plus,” suggested Toolis.

As for Peebles, their coach Drew Moore felt that Boroughmuir were deserving of their victory. “Their power game was impressive. Their set-piece, the way they managed the game and their line speed were all strong. Their one-up ball carriers made us defend quite narrow. For us, we’re really pleased to have reached the final. It’s easy to forget that we’re not some sort of super club recruiting from multiple schools in the area. These players are all from one school, but even so we’ve been able to put two teams out most Saturdays in the course of the season.

“The fact that we won the Borders Semi Junior League and qualified for this final is brilliant. 50 percent of this team will be back next season so the good thing is that they’ve been exposed to this level.”

On a bitterly cold evening, Boroughmuir were first to strike after breaking out of their own 22 and then working the ball upfield to create space on the left for a try by winger Luke Whitaker, converted by stand-off Gavin Lockhart.

The Meggetland men then made the best of a scrum in the middle of the park by working a clever move to the right that freed centre Lewis Bisset to race in for his side’s second try, Lockhart again adding the extras.

Peebles replied with pressure rugby ending with flanker Kell Maciver profiting from a tap penalty near the Boroughmuir line to score what proved to be his side’s only points of the match.

The Borderers tried desperately to regain lost ground by moving the ball wide only for one such effort to end with an interception by Lewis Veitch. The wing stumbled but when support arrived the city side mounted a siege on the Peebles line, eventually producing a try for prop Ben Malcolm and a 19-5 half-time advantage.

In a second half in which both sides tried to run the ball, defences were on top, and ultimately the only points of the second period came right at the end, from a penalty goal by Lockhart to sign off  a winning performance for Boroughmuir.
Teams –

Boroughmuir: J McRae; L Veitch, L Bisset, A Grohmann, L Whitaker; G Lockhart, B Clark; B Malcolm, Z Griffiths, B MacGruer, L Calder, C Potter, J Sobey, J Visser, A Barry Subs E McGeoch, O Blyth-Lafferty, S Calder, C Gemmell, O Hollins-Kirk, C Thomson, S Webb.
Peebles Colts: L Forsyth; C Boak, C Burnett-Godfree, J Hodgkiss, L Whyte; R Wolfenden, Alec Sellar, R Hardie, Ruaridh Smith, A McDowell, C McRobert, O Furness, K Maciver, R Smellie, E Hunter. Subs: B White, Junior Burquelle, R Johnson, A Duncan, Rio Bhatia, Max Maciver, J Thomson.

Referee: Rob McDowell.


Scorers –

Boroughmuir: Tries: Whitaker, Bisset,Malcolm; Cons: Lockhart 2; Pen: Lockhart.

Peebles Colts: Try: Maciver.

Scoring sequence (Boroughmuir first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 14-0; 14-5; 19-5 (h-t)  22-5.

  • Meanwhile, Ayr/Wellington defeated Melrose Wasps 36-7 in the final of the Under-18 Shield competition.
Ayr/Wellington win the Under-18 National Youth Shield. Image: Susan Hay
Ayr/Wellington win the Under-18 National Youth Shield. Image: Susan Hay


About Alan Lorimer 358 Articles
Scotland rugby correspondent for The Times for six years and subsequently contributed to Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Scotsman, Herald, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Herald and Reuters. Worked in Radio for BBC. Alan is Scottish rugby journalism's leading voice when it comes to youth and schools rugby.


  1. Again from when my son played there was a highlights package on SRU YouTube channel and the teams were supplied with a full video of the matches. Prior to that when Alba had Pro12/14 coverage they also did a pacton both schools and club finals days. I agree though that live streaming of finals, age grade finals and age grade regional/ international games would help generate interest when so much rugby is behind a paywall during a coat of living crisis.

  2. Can’t speak for other seasons but when my son played in the final no teams used the international dressing rooms as it would have been unfair for the ‘away’ team. Players were given a tour including the home dressing room but used the Wanderers changing rooms. Noone had a problem with that tbh. They were looked after tremendously the whole day. I’m the first to have a go at the SRU suits but my son and his team mates and indeed opponents were given excellent treatment that day and it was a great experience for all involved. Perhaps it was an easier event to organise as there were no bowl or shield tournaments back then just the u16 and u18 finals.

  3. Agree with all comments. SRU just get it wrong with Youth Rugby. The U18s relegated to the Wanderers changing room was a bit of a blow for the boys. Both teams have been unbeaten during the Conference and this U18 Final was always going to be a big game and big contest for both. Previous years have been in the main changing rooms so for them to get off the bus and be sent off in the other direction was just wrong and a bitter disappointment to what is such an important day for these lads. Many of them it will be the first and only time to get this experience. Whoever organised this shambles should be ashamed. The Schools games are always highly publicised by the SRU, the Club games are given lip service. There is so much talent coming through the Clubs and its time the SRU recognised that. The Cup games for both School and Club should be live streamed. Its no wonder Scottish Rugby struggles, when there is so little promotion of the game from grass roots up through the youth section. Will they read these comments and take them on board, probably not. Must do better SRU

  4. poor showing by SRU, who relegated the top youth teams to the back changing rooms of the old Murrayfield Wanderers club in favour of the under 16s finalists. given the organising of the event must be a major headache, all the people who run the events for senior teams in Scotland must have had the day off NOT surprised Just Disappointed does anyone that works for the SRU have any clue the 16s might get another go, most of the 18s wont “Shambles”

  5. Agree with you Robbieco. Yesterday felt like the ‘forgotten finals’ day. Hardly any promotion of it by Scottish Rugby, inaccurate information and limited access to the ‘big’ pitch. If SR are serious about improving state school/club youth rugby they’ll need to do better than this…

  6. Great to see… well it would be if it were streamed for kids to watch, as I sit here watching live feed of Merchi, Strath and Fettes play in the Rugby School International 7’s, when they ask why youth engagement is lacking, it seems obvious to me !
    You can’t engage in the product if you don’t put it in the widest shop window 🤷‍♂️🤔


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