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.
“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.
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.
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.