Sarah Beaney Cup: Garioch and Cartha Queens Park eye upsets

Hillhead Jordanhill and Watsonians out to defend unbeaten records

Garioch and Hillhead Jordanhill meet in the Sarah Beaney Cup on Saturday. Image: Gareth Falls
Garioch and Hillhead Jordanhill meet in the Sarah Beaney Cup on Saturday. Image: Gareth Falls

GARIOCH and Cartha Queens Park are tasked with halting the unbeaten Sarah Beaney Cup runs of Hillhead Jordanhill and Watsonians respectively this weekend.

Hills travel to Inverurie on Saturday to take on Garioch sitting top of the group standings. The Glasgow side have won two games with bonus points in the seven-team event so far and have a points difference of +54. Garioch have only played one game so far and are bottom of the standings.

Like Hills, Watsonians have 10 points from 10 and are second in the table with a points difference of +46 as they get ready to welcome Cartha Queens Park to Myreside on Sunday.

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Cartha have lost two from two so far, but have been making steady improvements as they look to move up from sixth.

Meanwhile, the Corstorphine Cougars versus Stirling County tie, due to be played at Union Park on Saturday, has been postponed due to the visiting team facing a player shortage through injury and Celtic Challenge call-ups

At the end of the group stage, the top two will play in the Sarah Beaney cup Final as part of Silver Saturday on April 27th at Murrayfield.

The Lowdown –

Garioch v Hillhead Jordanhill

Venue: Kellands Park @ 2pm (Saturday)

Teams –

Garioch: C Burrows; L Sneddon, L Milne, S Pepper, K Grant; N Chalk, L Keay; J Shaw, M Stewart, L McDiarmid, J Silcocks, B Mullinor, A Perry, S Ross©, H Small. Subs: K Eades, K Jamieson, A Ross, M Falls, A Rose Love, L Davis.

Hillhead Jordanhill: M Warren; S Smolina, H McHugh, E Barlow, B Carberry; MA Wales, H Dunnett; S Marra, R Millar, P Abernethy, C McGowan, Z Dura, R Davidson, H Telling©, LJ Crawford. Subs: S Kyalikunda, K Lauritzen, L Amner, H Mulligan, J Miles, M Grant, B Tobin.

Key battle: Sammy Ross versus Hannah Telling

Team news –

Garioch: It’s been a tricky week with selection as the club are struggling through injuries and unavailability. So, it is a big boost to have Charlotte Burrows back from Celtic Challenge duty. She is returning from concussion so will get a 40-minute run out.

Hillhead Jordanhill: Despite players away with Celtic Challenge duties, a strong squad of 22 named.

What the coaches say –

“Sammy Ross will move into the back-row to captain from there. Kelly Grant makes her starting debut on the wing with Laura Milne moving into centre for this one …” – Dave Duguid (Garioch)

“As a squad we were really pleased with our all round performance against Stirling, but we very much have a ‘focus on the next game’ approach. A week off allowed some bodies to mend and for the excitement to build again, this time for Garioch. Garioch had a strong finish to the league season and we know the challenges they bring, especially with their physicality and work rate. For us, full focus is on showing the best version of ourselves on the  …” – Stephen Gillies (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Verdict: Garioch had two good home wins to secure Premiership survival before Christmas which will give them home, but Hills are in good form and it should continue after a tough outing.

Away win.



Watsonians v Cartha Queens Park

Venue: Myreside @ 2pm (Sunday)

Teams –

Watsonians: R Law©; S Macey, R Philipps, J Lyons, A Conchie; S Clements, M Nelson; S Donnelly, L-A Lawrie, C Abernethy, A Swan, C Hall, J Menday, K King, L Buckingham. Subs: H Walton, A Hughes, K Natt.

Cartha Queens Park: C Hall©; N McCreadie, I Whyte, S Cockburn, M Gribben; C Bell, S Jessiman; B Charlton, S Djoh©, C Baker-Hughes, J Enright, E Gilmour, K Gray, K Brown, J Duker. Subs: R Cobban, R Mathieson, E Brownlie, G Walker, M Nieuwoudt, K Renicks, E Chaplin.

Key battle: Laura Buckingham versus Joanna Duker

Team news –

Watsonians: Edinburgh Rugby squad members Rachel Philipps, Ami Conchie and Mary Nelson are all available and start in the backline. Hannah Walton joins from Edinburgh University as she returns from long-term injury and is set to debut off the bench.

Cartha Queens Park: With the luxury of having a full squad of players to select from, Cartha welcome back co-captain Carys Hall for the first time in 2024 following injury. Breagha Charlton retains her place in the front-row after making her 1st XV debut as a last minute call-up against Corstorphine two weeks ago and impressing.

What the coaches say –

“After a couple of weeks off we are looking forward to getting back into the Cup run with our game against Cartha this weekend. We’ve been working hard in training on how we’d like to play over the next few games and we are excited to put it into practice. With this Cup run running concurrently with the Celtic Challenge, it’s giving people a chance to showcase what they can do and I’m really encouraged about the depth that’s coming through …” – Rachel Law (Watsonians, captain)

“The squad has trained hard over the last couple of weeks and the attitude and culture we have been looking to develop is starting to shine through. We have had a number of players putting their hands up at training which has made selection difficult. We look forward to travelling to face Watsonians after a strong performance against Cougars two weeks ago. We know that this fixture will be a real acid test for us in terms of where we are with our development …” – Ally Hunter (Cartha Queens Park)

Verdict: Watsonians looked sharp against Heriot’s Blues last time out and, although Cartha will battle for 80 minutes here and their strong squad and a full bench will certainly help, the Edinburgh side will likely be too strong in the end.

Home win.

Premiership preview for weekend 16th and 17th February: runners, riders and verdict

About Gary Heatly 455 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.