- To read Under-16 Cup Final match report click HERE.
Under-18 Shield Final:
St Aloysius’ College 30
High Schools of Glasgow 22
Favourites St Aloysious raced into a first minute lead with a length of the field try from captain and inside-centre Johnny Ventisei, but High School of Glasgow (HSOG) held their nerve and bounced back to take the lead through a well worked try in which Chris Collins collected Ben Taylor’s delicate chip over the top, to set up a straight forward Harry Proven conversion.
HSOG then stretched their lead through a Proven try, which he converted himself, but St Aloysius bounced back with an Anthony Grady try, converted from the left touchline by Matthew Urwin, who then kicked a penalty to put his team into a narrow 15-14 lead at the break.
The excellent Proven fired home a penalty to put HSOG back into the lead early in the second period, but St Aloysius responded in quick order with powerful No 8 Oliver McKenna ploughing through a ruck and over the line, with that lead was quickly extended when Michael Robinson streaked home straight from the restart.
HSOG weren’t ready to throw in the towel yet, however, and they battled back to score a fine try through Kwesi O’Hare, although that’s as close as they got, and a try from the powerful David McDonald with three minutes to go confirmed St Aloysius’ victory.
“When we played High School at the start of the season, they went 10 up and had us on the ropes before we came back to claim the win, so we knew it was going to be physical and fast, and we expected it to be a really big challenge,” said Thomas Davidson, St Aloysius’ Director of Rugby. “It was a great spectacle for the neutral, but I suspect all the coaches left with many more grey hairs than we arrived with.
Meanwhile, irrepressible HSOG head coach Fin Gillies said: “The only two things we talked about beforehand was being brave with the ball, and brave without it, and the boys really delivered – they were great.
“The boys are feeling a bit crushed right now because they have been beaten having put so much in, but when they sit down and think about it they will be proud of themselves, and justifiably so.
“I just wish we had got over the line – and it wasn’t for a lack of chances – but we were beaten comfortably by this team in the Conference at the start of the season, so it was a real step forward in that respect.”
St Aloysius College: Andrew McConnell; Michael Conteh, Michael Robinson, Johnny Vintisei, Daniel Boyle; Mattheew Urwin, Mark McDermott; Tiernan Smith, Connor Duncan, David McDonald, Christopher Douglas, Anthony Grady, Marc Darroch, Thomas Dunn, Oliver McKenna. Replacements: Leo McCusker, Callum Thomas, Felix Lonergan-Black, Liam Bennett, Oliver Heaney, Ethan Jack, Andrew Campbell.
The High School of Glasgow: Kwesi O’Hare; Jamie Ritchie, Harry Provan, Christopher Collins, Fraser Munro; Ben Taylor, Paddy Baume-Kennedy; Huck Hutton, Miles Gordon, Zain Shaikh, Ben De Laet-Gamble, Nicholas Sheridan, Lucas Reid, Thom Bowman, Toby Sim©. Replacements: Sadiq Shaik, Freddie Deane, Gavin Scott, Zak Chingizi, Fergus Currie, Tom Fleming, Duncan Maclean.
Under-18 Plate Final:
George Heriot’s School 27
Marr College 17
Four first half tries from No 8 Harvey Woodman, hooker Josh Harrison, winger Finlay McWilliam and flanker Max Wade, against a solitary penalty from Marr stand-off Alasdair Campbell, appeared to have Heriot’s strolling down ‘Easy Street’ on their way to a comprehensive win with the score 22-5 at half-time.
But Marr showed bags of courage to fight their way back into the contest, prompted by Jack Broadfoot streaking under the posts from an interception on halfway early in the second half, followed by a try by flanker Andrew Bowler at the end of several phases of tight and well-disciplined forward drives.
Heriot’s appeared to be on the ropes with two players in the sin-bin, but they battled back to secure the victory when Fergus Wood took a quick tap penalty from five metres out and blasted his way home.
“Heriot’s are a good side and they took their chances playing really basic rugby well,” said Gordon McMillan, head of youth rugby at Marr. “But what I am really happy with is that we asked for character, and we asked for our boys to get that first score in the second half to try to change the momentum, and they responded. That says a lot about the character of these boys.”
George Heriot’s School: Fred Davis; Finlay McWilliam, Sandy Renwick, Andrew Gilbert, Harrison Cockburn; Nicholas Lister, Alex Linklater; Finlay Gillgrass, Josh Harrison, Ollie Forbes, Oliver Berridge, Thomas Granville, Max Wade, Fergus Wood©, Harvey Woodman. Replacements: Charlie Wynn, Rory Holme, Ben Finlay, Callum McLeod, Douglas Frew, Freddie Htet-Marshall.
Marr College: Ross Booth; Josh MacKenzie, Jack Broadfoot, Sam Christian, Dylan Tuton; Alasdair Campbell, Ruari Anderson; Rhys Sutterfield©, Fraser McCormack, Dylan Stevenson, Adam Murray, Scott Nicol, Sean Kelly, Andrew Bowler, Angus McCallum. Replacements: Harris Cummins, Adam Gallacher, Ciaran Gilmartin, Jamie Braddock, James Bell, Callum Cairns, Connor Rundle.
Under-18 Bowl Final:
Lomond & Helensburgh 7
Morrison’s Academy 41
Captain Cameron Brickell got the ball rolling for Morrison’s Academy with a try off a strong break, but Lomond & Helensburgh bounced back impressively and had an opportunity to open their account after a period of pressure when they were awarded a penalty, but the shot at the posts was unsuccessful. Morrison’s then struck again when Brickell intercepted and darted home, and a third try was claimed before the break through front-row Jago McIntosh, with stand-off Henry Armstrong adding the extras.
Helensburgh & Lomond struck back early in the second half through hooker William Harrison, with captain Robbie Devenny adding the extras, but Morrison’s saw off the game in the final 15 minutes through tries by Archie McRonald, Harry Blackie, Ethan Clark and McIntosh again.
“I don’t think the score reflects how tight it was,” said Morrisons’ assistant coach Noel Wicks. “Lomond were relentless and kept testing us right to the end. We knew they had come back from being well behind in the semi-final, so we knew we couldn’t give them an inch because they’d be ready to pounce.
“The under-16s reached the semis in their competition and quite a lot of this team are S5 so a lot of them will be back next year.
“We’re a small school, and we’ve got some boys in the squad who have only started playing rugby this year, but they have thrown themselves into it and that’s a credit to those boys and the tightness of the group. With a few injuries it does get tough, which was part of the reason we didn’t have the best start to the season, but once we get a head of steam up we are a force to be reckoned with.
Captain Brickell, who was also player-of-the-match, said: “We want to try to get a game against these top schools. We played Edinburgh Academy earlier in the season and drew the second half – unfortunately they had a 20-point lead from the first half! – but we enjoyed the experience and we want to challenge ourselves as much as we can.”
Lomond/Helensburgh head coach Paul Reaney, said: “They were a very well drilled team so it is just the way it goes sometimes. We were slow off the bus, but the boys didn’t let their heads go down, and they fought back well to get a score at the start of the second half.”
“We’ve had this partnership between Lomond High School and Helensburgh Rugby Club for about 12 years now, and it is the third time in six years that we have been to Finals day, so I think that’s testament to the system we’ve developed.
“We’ve really enjoyed the first part of the season, but this is only the halfway point because we’re targeting the West Cup after Christmas. It has been a great day for the boys and they’ll learn a lot from the whole experience of coming to Murrayfield and playing against good opposition.”
Lomond & Helensburgh: T-Jay Lambert; Lewis McElney, Thomas Shaw, Camerson Gow, Camerson Picken; Robbie Devenny©, Luca Gibson; Samuel Farrar, William Harrison, Iain Reaney, Fabio Giarchi, Alex Tacchi, Rory Dunlop, Jason Rae, Toby Clark. Replacements: Taylor Kennedy, Rhys Elias, Mike Millar, Denis Chamberlain, David Crombie, Finlay Martin, Oscar Deighan.
Morrison’s Academy: Ethan Clark; Archie McRonald, Kyle Beck, Cameron Brickell©, Adam Kerr; Henry Armstrong, Morgan Wicks; Jugo McIntish, Duncan Fletcher, Hamish Tuffee, Hamish Hutcheson, Caleb Betts, Camerson Anderson, Laurie Thomson, Harry Blackie. Replaacements: Charlie Harrow, Nyasha Makusha, Daniel Paterson, Fergus Hammond, Jack Bilsland, James McLeod, Angus Brown