by ALAN LORIMER
STEWART-MELVILLE COLLEGE, George Watson’s College and Marr College all progressed to semi-final of the Schools’ Under-18 Cup after respective quarter-final wins over Dollar Academy, Strathallan and High School of Glasgow.
At Dollar, the host side, after trailing 19-8 at the break against fast-starting Stewart’s-Melville College, outscored the Inverleith side in the second half, but their effort was too late to prevent the visitors winning by 26-21 “We left ourselves with too much to do after a slow start,” conceded Don Caskie, the Dollar coach. “It was a very good game of schools rugby. Both sides went at each other.”
Stewart’s-Melville coach, Stuart Edwards praised his side’s tackling. “Our defence was outstanding,” he said. “They threw everything at us in the second half.”
Wing Bruce McNulty and prop Mike Jones (twice) scored Stewart’s-Melville’s first half tries, while wing Aidan Cross touched down in the second half. Three of the four tries were converted by centre Matt Russell. For Dollar, No 8 Ethan Parkins, wing Euan Smith and centre Mike Gray scored tries, the other points coming from two penalties by stand-off Cameron Purdham.
George Watson’s College, confirmed their strong form this season by defeating Strathallan 31-0 at Myreside with tries from full-back Daniel Brown, wings Angus Hoffie and Connal Milligan, and centre Ewan Maguire, who also converted all his side’s tries in addition to kicking a penalty goal.
“This is the 15th year in a row that we’ve reached the semi-final of this competition,” pointed out Ally Donaldson, Watson’s director of rugby. “That’s a brilliant achievement. We now have the chance of winning the Cup and the Conference this season.
“This was a very physical and competitive game in the first half. We led 10-0 at the break and then scored early in the second half which kind of killed the game.”
Meanwhile, at Anniesland, Marr College booked their place in the last four with a 20-17 win over a High School of Glasgow outfit which had vanquished last season’s Cup winners Merchiston in the last round. Callum Inglis was the key to Marr’s success with the stand-off converting tries by scrum-half Jenson Cameron and David Craig and kicking two penalty goals.
For High School, Luke Armstrong, Graeme Macdonald and Sam Haldane scored tries, with Armstrong kicking one conversion.
The fourth of the quarter finals between Edinburgh Academy and Fettes will be played next Wednesday.