IT took a last minute try from Gav Cruickshanks to snatch a 33-27 win for Premiership side Glasgow Hawks over National One’s Dundee at the end of a pulsating Scottish Cup second round encounter at Mayfield.
“We were one point up with a scrum on our 22 right at the end and got turned over, they held onto the ball and eventually scored,” explained beaten head coach Alan Brown.
“Its was a tough one to take and he boys were nearly in tears afterward but they should be proud,” he added. “It was a massive step up for us, and you can say I am biased, but I think we were the better team in almost every area. We hit rucks harder, we tackled harder – the only area they had the edge on us was the scrum and that’s what cost us in the end. It was a terrific contest.”
Brown identified skipper and No 8 Sam Cardosi as a stand-out performer in this match and over the season: “He’s from Northern Ireland and about to finish his law degree at Dundee. He’s Scottish qualified and moving to Edinburgh next season, so should be on the super6 radar.”
GHA, who are having to get used to the setback of recently being relegated out of the Premiership, suffered another blow when they went down 41-28 at home to an Ayr team they are set to face in National One next season.
However, director of rugby Rangi Jericevich was able to draw comfort from some of the encouraging things happening at Braidholm at the moment.
“It was a scrappy affair, but considering the conditions, both teams scored some really good tries,” he said. “It’s a disappointing end to a disappointing season for the 1st XV but we’re fairly positive about the future.
“We made a coaching change two-thirds of the way through the league campaign, which was too late to shake us out of the run of defeats we had found ourselves in, but we don’t expect to lose many players and think we’ll be in pretty good shape next season, which is going to be massive for us.
“The 2nd XV have just beaten Heriot’s to win the National Reserve League, and our under-16s won their Youth Cup Final at Murrayfield this afternoon, so it has not been all bad news for the club.”
Hawick took the red-carding of flanker Stuart Graham for a high tackle (as well as yellow-cards for winger James Delaney and full-back Kirk Ford) in their stride to secure a 23-12 win over Edinburgh Accies, which keeps the Borderers’ quest for a league and cup double on track.
Ronan McKean, the try-scoring hero of Hawick’s Premiership play-off success against Currie Chieftains a fortnight ago, struck again at the start of this game, with Ford converting and adding a penalty to establish a 10-0- lead. Accies struck back through Lewis Wells, before Graham was dismissed, but despite this, Ford kicked another penalty then converted Gareth Welsh‘s try to make it 20-5 at the break
With Ruairi Campbell in the sin-bin, Ford kicked another penalty, before tight-head prop Clem Lacour – in reportedly last game for club – rumbled over for a consolation Accies try.
Premiership runners-up Currie Chieftains were 14-17 down at half-time against Melrose, but their experience and squad depth showed in the final quarter, and they eventually ran out 57-20 winners with their opponents reduced to 13 men by two yellow cards in the last 10 minutes.
Greg Cannie claimed a hat-trick for Chieftains, with Iain Sim, James Donoghue, Paddy Boyer, James McCaig, returning stalwart Graeme Carson and Cairn Ramsay (a scorcher set-up by a powerful break from brother Jacob).
Melrose’s points came via a try each for the centres, Donald Crawford and Roly Brett, while David Colvine kicked both conversions plus two penalties.
Selkirk got revenge for their home defeat during the league season with a 38-7 cup success over the East Lothian men at Philiphaugh. The victory was built on a dominant first half performance from the Suitors which brought a brace each for hooker Bruce Riddell and full-back Matt Reid with one for tight-head prop Callum Mackintosh. Craig Jackson added three conversions.
Musselburgh enjoyed more possession and came back into the game after the break, but Selkirk flanker Scott McClymont kept his team’s side of the scoreboard ticking over, before Musselburgh’s Paul Bogie claimed a consolation score converted by Tom Foley.
GHK beat Stirling County 26-43 at Bridgehaugh. This game doubled-up as a league match and the result means the Glasgow side’s future in National One is secured for next season.
Last but not least, Heriot’s Blues scored tries through Rory Carmichael, Danny Dineen, Sam Wallace, Fraser Stanier (2) and Dom Martin, with four conversions from Graham Wilson as they marched to 12-38 win over Kelso at Poynder Park. The home team’s points were scored by tries for Terry Logan and Allan Frame, plus a conversion for Murray Hastie.
This weekend’s round of 16 results –
Currie Chieftains 57 – 20 Melrose
Dundee Rugby 27 – 33 Glasgow Hawks
Edinburgh Accies 12 – 23 Hawick
GHA 28 – 41 Ayr
Kelso 12 – 38 Heriot’s
Marr v Watsonians – home walkover as Watsonians had insufficient front-row players
Selkirk 38 – 26 Musselburgh
Stirling County 26 – 43 GHK
Next weekend’s quarter-final ties –
Ayr v Selkirk
Currie Chieftains v Marr
Hawick v GHK
Heriot’s Blues v Glasgow Hawks