Sarah Beaney Cup round two: runners, riders and verdict

Stirling County enter the fray with a trip to Hillhead Jordanhill

Stirling County enter the Sarah Beaney Cup this weekend. Image: Bryan Robertson
Stirling County enter the Sarah Beaney Cup this weekend. Image: Bryan Robertson

THE SARAH BEANEY CUP continues on Sunday with Premiership champions Stirling County entering the fray. A number of the squads involved are still stretched by having players away taking part in the Celtic Challenge, but Heriot’s Blues, Hillhead Jordanhill and Watsonians all won games last Sunday.

There are three more games this week and County, who won the league final against Watsonians just before Christmas, start their double bid away to Hills in Glasgow.

There is an Edinburgh derby with Watsonians taking on Heriot’s while Cartha Queens Park host Corstorphine and Garioch have a free weekend.

The Lowdown –

Cartha Queens Park v Corstorphine Cougars

Venue: Dumbreck @ 2pm

Teams –

Cartha Queens Park: C Olsen; N McCreadie, J McAslan, I Whyte, M Gribben; C Bell, S Jessiman; R Coban, G Walker, S Djoh©, A McIntosh, E Gilmour, K Gray, K Brown, S McMillan. Subs: C Boan.

Corstorphine: K Honjigawa; E Mullen, L McGrotty, M Welsh, K Weighill; H Ramsay, P Benson; L Green, E Sword, E Donaldson©, L Russell, C Hadley, Z Turner, A Anderson, L Kidd. Subs: D Anderson, A Halliday, E Harness, B Douglas, L Campbell, R Laurenson, L Young.

Key battle: Shona Jessiman versus Pip Benson

Team news –

Cartha Queens Park: Selection has been impacted by a few players travelling to Wales for the Men’s Six Nations match and a couple of others missing out due to injuries. Charlotte Boan returns from injury and Kirsty Brown has shaken off her illness to take her place in the back-row. They are also looking for Shona Jessiman to put in another strong performance following her player-of-the-match award last week.

Corstorphine: Eilidh Sword returns to the squad after illness last week meant a late call off. Lottie Russell retains her place after impressing in the second-row alongside Caitlan Hadley. Zoe Turner covers in the back-row again, somewhere she has played before in Australia. Katie Weighill and Emily Mullen start on the wings with Rheo Laurenson and Lorna Young coming off the bench. Hannah Ramsay starts at 10 while Anna Halliday and Lily Campbell, who have been impressing in the 2nd XV, come onto the bench.

What the coaches say –

“We look forward to our first home game in the Cup and welcoming Cougars to Dumbreck. The squad have worked hard this week and look to build on our performance against Hills …” – Ally Hunter (Cartha Queens Park)

“We’re looking to be much more clinical this weekend. Our conversion rate just wasn’t good enough last weekend, but we’ve had a good analysis of the things we need to work on and training on Thursday night was good in terms of us bringing the learning from the analysis onto the pitch. It was also great to have 31 players training on Thursday, so it’s been a positive week. We go into the match against Cartha knowing that they always come out fighting …” – Eric Jones (Corstorphine)

Verdict: Both sides will want to bounce back after opening losses and, despite a number of players away on Celtic Challenge duties, Corstorphine should still have the firepower to do that.

Away win.

 

Hillhead Jordanhill v Stirling County

Venue: Hughenden @ 2pm

Teams –

Hillhead Jordanhill: TBC.

Stirling County: from: A Luke, H Davis, S Murphy, P Aitken-Robinson, E Quigley, E Graham, C Ainsworth, G Duncan, J Murdoch©, Sarah Murdoch, K MacDonald, J Duncan, J Fletcher, Sophie Murdoch, F Keys, R Cox, E Meegan, R More.

Key battle: TBC

Team news –

Hillhead Jordanhill: TBC.

Stirling County: The starting XV be named nearer kick-off from the 18-strong squad selected.

What the coaches say –

“Another exciting game at home to look forward to as a squad. Preparations have been going well and we’re looking to build upon last weekend’s win over Cartha. Stirling did incredibly well to go on to win the league this season and all credit to them for a great performance in the final. Having finished third, one place behind them in the league standings, it’s another exciting opportunity to test ourselves. We look forward welcoming them to Hughenden …” – Stephen Gillies (Hillhead Jordanhill)

“Our priority this year after losing eight first team regulars was to rebuild and retain our league title which we duly accomplished. Like most teams  we have been depleted by the Celtic Challenge and so any success in the Cup will be a bonus…” – Mark Ainsworth (Stirling County)

Verdict: This will be an exciting affair and Hills will fancy their chances on home turf after their opening win. County built and built up to the Premiership final and will want to keep momentum going into 2024.

Away win.

 

Watsonians v Heriot’s Blues

Venue: Myreside @ 2pm

Teams –

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

Heriot’s Blues: H Riddoch; D Stamp, A Sergeant©, B Cameron, E Ashton; L Martin, A Evans; M Capaldi, R Healey, A Wilson, C Syme, A Murray, M Taylor©, A Savage, T Brough. Subs: M Dadie, T Jenkinson, R Sodden, L Stewart.

Key battle: Laura Buckingham versus Megan Taylor.

Team news –

Watsonians: Rachel Philipps and Sophie Anderson are starting after Celtic Challenge duties of late.

Heriot’s Blues: Pearl Kellie and Giselle Chicot are on Celtic Challenge duties with Glasgow. Alison Wilson is 25th player for Edinburgh on Saturday, but will start at tight-head here if not required at Hive Stadium. Scotland cap Annabel Sergeant is back at 13 and her and Megan Taylor are co-captains.

What the coaches say –

“‘Playing at Myreside against the defending Cup holders is always going to be tough. We are buoyant on the back of our win last week, but are acutely aware of the challenges we face against an on-form Watsonians team. We have prepared well and the team are really looking forward to putting in a good performance …” – Craig Robertson (Heriot’s Blues)

Verdict: Games between these sides are always feisty and given they both won last week you can expect more of the same here. Heriot’s have a fairly settled squad out and they’ll take the game to their hosts, but Watsonians on home turf might just have too much after an entertaining affair.

Home win.


Premiership preview for Saturday 3rd February: runners, riders and verdict

About Gary Heatly 439 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.

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