LIAM MCNAMARA was outstanding for Ayrshire Bulls in their big win over Southern Knights on Saturday with three line-breaks and five tackle-breaks, so is selected at full-back, taking over from Logan Trotter of Stirling County who made a strong case for a third consecutive selection with an excellent solo try for Stirling County. Harry Paterson of Watsonians is also unlucky to miss out for the second week running.
It could very easily have been an all Bulls back three. Certainly, Jamie Shedden – wearing 14 but lining up on the left wing – was a shoo-in after marking his Super6 debut with three tries for Pete Horne‘s side, while Aaron Tait on the other touchline is desperately unlucky to miss out following his brace, but Ross McKnight gets the call-up after getting on the score sheet for Stirling County for the third week in succession.
Centre selection was really tough this week, with a strong push for Bobby Kay of Heriot’s to be handed the No13 jersey after 15 tackles versus Watsonians, but opposite number Lewis Berg edges it having come back from a quiet first half to score two tries in a typically hard-running display featuring seven tackle-breaks and three line-breaks. Tom Jordan looked more like the player who dominated matches for the Bulls last season, with his straightening of the attacking line creating another headache that the Knights struggled to cope with, so he gets the nod at inside-centre ahead of Lee Millar of Watsonians. That means the young Boroughmuir Bears duo of Duncan Munn and Robbie McCallum miss out this week, which is a shame because they are emerging as an excellent and influential pairing for the Meggetland men.
It is a Heriot’s pairing at half-back. Bruce Houston took his try well and kicked well from both hand and tee, so is at stand-off ahead of Nathan Chamberlain, as one of the few Knights players to gain pass marks. The lively Murdo McAndrew named ahead of Cam Jones of Ayrshire Bulls at scrum-half.
Up front, departing Glasgow Warriors Tom Lambert is at loose-head following his performance for the Bulls, while Murphy Walker, who recently signed a pro contract with the pro team, is at tight-head, having coming off the bench to super-charge Stirling County’s scrum. They pack down either side of the excellent, two-try, teenage hooker Corey Tait of the Bears, with an honourable mention going to Alex McGuire of Ayrshire Bulls.
Luis Ball‘s workmate for Watsonians – 19 carries, 22 ruck hits and 12 tackles – earns him selection in the engine-room, alongside Hamish Bain, who was a line-out totem for Boroughmuir Bears in their win over Stirling County. The hard-working James Pow of Stirling County misses out.
Plenty strong candidates at blindside flanker, including Ryan Sweeney of Ayrshire Bulls, Ruairidh Leishman of Heriot’s and Seb Cecil of Watsonians, but Josh King‘s huge defensive shift for Boroughmuir Bears against his old club of Stirling County edges it, with Tim Brown‘s support play for the rampant Bulls sees him named at openside, while his team-mate and skipper Blair MacPherson is at No 8.
15. Liam McNamara (Ayrshire Bulls)
14. Ross McKnight (Stirling County)
13. Lewis Berg (Watsonians)
12.Tom Jordan (Ayrshire Bulls)
11. Jamie Shedden (Ayrshire Bulls)
10. Bruce Houston (Heriot’s)
9. Murdo McAndrew (Heriot’s)
1. Tom Lambert (Ayrshire Bulls)
2. Corey Tait (Boroughmuir Bears)
3. Murphy Walker (Stirling County)
4. Luis Ball (Watsonians)
5. Hamish Bain (Boroughmuir Bears)
6. Josh King (Boroughmuir Bears)
7. Tim Brown (Ayrshire Bulls)
8. Blair MacPherson (Ayrshire Bulls)
Finally, big congratulations to Lee Jones, who has managed to get himself Connie McLaughlin, Chris Paterson and Hugh Dan McLennan selected as the TOL’s dream commentating team this week. Commiseration to Stuart McFarlane, Dale Clancy and Bruce Millar, who didn’t quite make the cut, although they can be assured that any benefactions dropped off to the press box next weekend will be warmly received ahead of round five’s selection meeting!
Hopefully in the mix for @theoffsideline team of the week!
— Lee Jones (@LeeJones11) May 7, 2022