Premiership: ruthless Marr move into second spot after blowing away Jed-Forest

Fullarton men take no prisoners against struggling Borderers

Marr ran up a big score against Jed-Forest at Fullarton Park. Image: Jonathan Pearce
Marr ran up a big score against Jed-Forest at Fullarton Park. Image: Jonathan Pearce

Marr 80

Jed-Forest 10

IAIN HAY @ Fullarton Park

MARR swept past Currie Chieftains into second place in the Premiership table with a big win over  decimated, makeshift Jed-Forest outfit at a windy, chilly ‘Fortress Fullarton’. 

Jed head coach David Grieve had acknowledged in the build-up that the odds were stacked against his side, and the task was made even more difficult as he was forced into making the long trip from Jedburgh with only 16 available players, and two back-rowers forced into the centre positions

“We’ve used 47 players this season – although I don’t know where we’ve found 47 players about, but we’ve used that many – and the sixteen who came up today: they stuck in,” said Grieve.

Premiership: Musselburgh prevail over Glasgow Hawks to boost play-off prospects

Six Nations: Committing to Scotland was a “no-brainer”, says Arron Reed

George Horne links up with Cancer Card charity

“It was always going to be a tricky scoreline but they stuck in, and in the second half [when Marr had the wind] we only conceded 28 points which was a huge positive from us. We had 11 forwards on the pitch, so we [the coaching group] want to thank them for their spirit and commitment.

“It’s a tricky time for the club, how do we keep them motivated and committed? The club gave questionnaires to the players because we want to know what they want, and the club’s willing to listen and do it. It’s just about getting the boys down to training and getting them involved.”

Marr opened the scoring after only two minutes and, going into the final quarter with the hosts on 66 points, thoughts in the crowd had begun to turn to: ‘What will they do with the scoreboard if we reach triple-figures?’

Callum Folan had grabbed that opening score, and soon afterwards Jake Jacobson out-paced Lewis Young on the outside before stepping in past the last man, and he nearly doubled his personal tally seconds later, only for the final pass to be called forward.

After the scrum, Marr regained possession and Greg Montgomery showed good feet before unselfishly passing to Grant Baird for an easy finish, and then Jacobson did get his second, a simple finish in the left-corner, perhaps more notable for Colin Sturgeon’s excellent touchline conversion in treacherous tee-kicking conditions.

Lock David Andrew scored his first of a hat-trick with a delicious dummy and burst for the line, but Jed then got themselves on the scoreboard through Young, scoring from close-range after a line-out which was the kind of try usually reserved for a front-row.

The visitors then got a second mini-victory when preventing Marr from scoring by turning them over on the try-line.

It was a pyrrhic victory, though, as the clearing, wind assisted kick came back with interest, with the back three of Montgomery, Jack Scott and Jacobson making the major inroads before Ali Rogers dived over.

A bullet-pass from Baird to send Andrew over again and a try from tight-head Alex Apthorpe saw a ruthless Marr over the 50-point mark before referee David Young blew for half-time.


Andrew completed his hat-trick early in the second half, only for Jed to reclaim the restart with a clever grubber which eventually saw Harvey Keith over the line to level the scores in the half … that was until Robbie Baird came off the bench for Scott and made a big impact.

First he showed lovely feet to dance around Robbie Shirra-Gibb, and although he was denied a quick-fire second by a combination of Shirra-Gibb and Young, Young’s ‘Hail Mary’ as he approached the touchline landed in the hands of Sturgeon, and another replacement, Callum Smith, finished off.

Baird did get his second try by grubbering and running around Dan Wardrop, he stumbled over the try-line but was able to get back on his feet to dot the ball down in-goal and spare any potential blushes, and it proved to be the last points of this statement-sending win.

“It was one of those games that can be quite tough to stay focused on the stuff we want to work on,” said Marr coach Kenny Diffenthal. “Obviously, it’s a depleted Jed team, but it was really good to see the guys stick at the fundamentals, like we asked them to”

Scott Bickerstaff picked up a hamstring niggle in the week so it was good to give youngsters a chance to gain some experience because we knew Jed would never give up, and fair play to them.

“There was a few lapses of concentration in attack towards the end of the first half and we could have been even more clinical, but that’s quite harsh when you look at the scoreboard.”


Teams –

Marr: G Montgomery; J Scott, G Paxton, C Bickerstaff, J Jacobson; C Sturgeon, G Baird; A Rogers, B Sweet, A Apthorpe, D Andrew, F Grant, C Folan, C Young, B Jardine. Subs: S Reekie, C Smith, K Vallance, R Baird, C Inglis.

Jed-Forest: L Young; B Irvine, E Lauder, B Fotheringham, R Shirra-Gibb; O Cranston, M Glen; J Ferguson, H Keith, D Campbell, C Skeldon, J Hynd, G Law, D McNeil, D Wardrop Subs: J Bowie

Referee: David Young


Scorers –

Marr: Tries: Folan, Jacobson 2, Baird, Andrew 3, Rogers, Apthorpe, Baird 2, Smith; Cons: Sturgeon 10.

Jed-Forest: Tries: Young, Keith.

Scoring sequence (Marr first): 5-0; 7-0; 12-0; 17-0; 19-0; 24-0; 26-0; 31-0; 33-0; 33-5; 38-5; 43-5; 45-5; 50-5 (h-t) 52-5; 57-5; 59-5; 59-10; 64-10; 66-10; 71-10; 73-10; 78-10; 80-10


Yellow Cards –

Jed Forest: Fotheringham


Player-of-the-Match: With apologies and a doff of the cap to hat-trick rocking lock David Andrew, the catalyst for a number of Marr’s tries and attacking intent was full-back Greg Montgomery. He chewed up metres, made breaks and drew defenders before delivering killer-passes.

Talking Point: Even if he is used to the wind, for Colin Sturgeon to only miss two conversions from 12 in these conditions was highly impressive, and when it comes to crunch time, keeping that scoreboard ticking could be crucial.

Premiership: Musselburgh prevail over Glasgow Hawks to boost play-off prospects

About Iain Hay 72 Articles
New to the freelancing journalistic world as of August 2019, Iain has previously written for The Scottish Rugby Blog since 2017, covering matches for Glasgow Warriors, Scotland and opinion pieces. Can also often be heard on their podcast flapping his gums about the oval-ball (technically, it’s ellipsoidal) game and being pedantic. Is rumoured to believe that Finn Russell is The Messiah. Does the Twitter thing, but doesn’t like it.


  1. Frankly unbelievable post from DeBroon. I am rory bannerman, i will not disguise my name or opinion.
    Jed are a fine club, beset by a series of difficulties that stem from areas they can best raise, but having a small population and limited numbers at school age cannot help. All those in Border rugby mourn their relegation. 3 9s may not be repeated soon but their guts this season is epitomised by today’s squad travelling 3 hours to an almost certain defeat against a good team with a bank balance and feeder system to envy.
    2nds rugby needs regionalised to ensure players want to play flexibly and be able to have a life outside just rugby.
    2nds are of course part of the future and the return of the Border Junior League was welcomed down here by all. Friday night games have enthused bigger crowds than any city 1sts team can boast.
    Regional champions can play off at a season’s end if wanted but whoever DeBroon supports would probably envy being part of such a proud and historic league.
    The future is getting men and women’s senior fixtures played, through encouragement of youth and development regionally , leading to regional leagues and popular, battling, 2nds regional leagues.
    Hawick Force have had great, tight, games v Peebles, Selkirk, Gala, Melrose and Kelso so far , all clubs welcoming this, and proud Jed have played some good games too.
    The Borders have always been the lifeblood of Scottish rugby, and always will. Highheidyin’s S6 sought to divide and conquer but in the Borders it has yet to do either. Boroughmuir and Watsons may rue the day they got involved in it , that is their choice, they too are clubs with fine past representatives like Hugh Macmaster and Stavi, i hope they return to a more prosperpus firsts level once S6 finally shuffles off its ailing mortal coil.
    What is certain is that club rugby, the lifeblood of our sport, will be all the better for the backfilling of clubs when S6 closes its doors and the numbers trickle down which will help 2nd xv’s .
    Long live Borders rugby, come back Jed to the top table soon, well done Kelso and Selkirk for punching above your size time and time again, and good news the Border Junior League will learn from our mistakes and grow stronger year on year. Play rugby when you can, have 2nds if you can, enjoy what you do.
    So no, i don’t agree.

    • Well said Rory .
      Ask DeBroon how many Edinburgh teams won the day against poor Borders sides

    • Well said Rory. Unfortunately DeBroon and one or two others here never let their total ignorance of the facts affect their opinions.

    • Scottish Rugby needs to be properly devolved and regionalised. Local people to solve local problems with equitable funding including academies. Makes them accountable for everything below the Pro teams. Borders rugby can be great again if there is a joined-up cooperative solutions between all clubs.

      Works in NZ, Ireland and SA.

  2. All the comments about the temporary demise of Jedforest. What about the commendable rise through the leagues of Marr? They are the exemplar of a community club based on engaging local schools and putting in place the infrastructure and personnel to support and encourage the game.

    • Absolutely spot on as the work that has been going on at Marr for probably the last 20 years by the players, coaches, parents and volunteers has to be rcognised. Marr as a rugby club like so many were in a slow and steady decline but a massive effort to develop interest in the game at primary and secondary school effort is now paying off. You never saw young people in Troon wearing anything related to Marr rugby but now you see it everywhere and some parents have even moved to the Troon area as they want their children to be involved. Troon is a small but growing town and like Ayr have developed into a real hub of the community but it has taken a lot of work but a lot of fantastic people to many to name but they know who they are.

  3. De Broon.
    Nothing wrong with Borders rugby
    Good results for the teams bar one today .
    Every Edinburgh team defeated in Prem1 league today
    So what s your assessment of Edinburgh clubs if they can’t beat poor Border teams

  4. De Broon.
    Nothing wrong with Borders rugby
    Good results for the teams bar one today .
    Every Edinburgh team defeated in Prem1 league today
    So what s your assessment of Edinburgh clubs if they can’t beat poor Border teams

    • Clubs using the cheque book instead of developing their own players is the problem. SRU choosing to ignore clubs paying players below the Prem.

  5. Why don’t we get a few heads together and sort it out reprspective of politics. Everyone in the borders wants the best for borders rugby. Happy to put my name on the line to bring people together Doug folan. Welcome all comments!

  6. Jed are in real trouble of dropping off the cliff face if you look at their current issues and their age profile. For a Prem team to only be able to pull together a squad of 16 is truly concerning but simply confirms the poor state of Borders rugby. Scratch the surface and all bar Hawick are currently struggling for 2nd XV’s. The reinstatement of the Border Junior League was just an indication that the Borders clubs have given up on 2nd XV rugby , there was no ambition in this move at all. Games are regularly being called off due to player shortage and the decisions to play a league structure then follow that with more of the exact same in the second half of the season is simply boring. The unfortunate issue is that none of the clubs appear to understand the importance of 2XV rugby and appear happy to accept the slide. If you dont have a 2nd XV your 1st XV days are numbered because squad players just drift off and leave the game which leaves any 1XV vulnerable as Jed in particular are finding out.
    Clubs are built from the bottom up , not the top down and the sooner the Borders clubs understand this the better. I fear however that Borders rugby has already gone beyond the point of no return and the future looks exceptionally bleak ….
    In the top three leagues it should be compulsory that the clubs involved field a regular 2nd XV – this would incentivise a bottom up approach rather than top down …

    • Yer right mate – 2nds rugby is the life blood of any club – but to say that the border clubs don’t understand the importance 2nds rugby is blinkered on your part – rugby in general is dying and if these clubs continued the way they were going then 2nds rugby would probs off slipped away even further – Border jnr league is in its 1st year – and I’ve seen sum decent games on Friday nites under the lights with larder crowds than what our wonderful super 6 probs get – granted our struggling – but reading shite like this just makes us border cubs stronger –

    • Yer wrong on so many levels ? My recent reply was blocked as I’m not eloquent enuff😜 ‘and I can’t be bothered to write it again –

    • Pure trite!

      A lot of effort has gone into the BJL’s first season. The majority of league games were played as per the programme pre-Christmas.

      The New Year Cup fixtures have been affected by the recent bad weather, but there is dialogue ongoing to play the missed fixtures. Injuries within some clubs’ 1st XV have needed assistance from the reserve squads. For some clubs, the performances within the BJL has seen players called up to play for the first team(s) based on merit.

      The BJL provides achievable opportunities for Borders players to get game time throughout the season. Long may this continue.

    • You clearly know very little about Borders rugby and I suspect it isn’t the only area where you are truly ignorant.


Comments are closed.