U16 Schools Cup Final: Watson’s overcome Dollar in tight contest

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George Watsons beat Dollar Academy in the Under-16 Schools Cup Final. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
George Watsons beat Dollar Academy in the Under-16 Schools Cup Final. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

Dollar Academy 26

George Watson’s College 47

DAVID BARNES @ Murrayfield

PACK power and a more clinical edge proved the difference in this entertaining cup final which was a closer contest than the final score-line suggests.

Both stand-offs – Angus Crockett of Dollar and Andrew Cameron of Watson’s – played with a calm authority which belied their years. In the back-row, Watson’s open-side Harrison Wood was named player-of-the-match following an all-action display, but Dollar blind-side John Hulme and their No 8 and captain Archie Jaffrey-Smith could each have easily taken that award. Watson’s also had some serious firepower in the wide channels in full-back Fergus Ferguson and two-try winger Lewis White.

“We’re obviously delighted with the result. Dollar were fantastic as well and that was a really good game of rugby. We scored some good tries and I think that gave us momentum at the right times,” said Watson’s head coach Jamie Forbes, who also acknowledged that his team’s defensive resilience early in the second half when they twice held Dollar up over the line, was important to the final outcome.

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“That’s one of the things we’ve been focussing on – making teams work really hard for their scores,” Forbes added. “Our boys were absolutely blowing out there so I can imagine their boys were as well, so it was a big thing for us to make them work hard to earn their scores then strike when we had the opportunities as well.”

Meanwhile, Dollar coach Niall Gallagher pointed out that this is the fifth final he has been involved in and a fifth defeat, but he wasn’t too disheartened.

“First of all, hats off to Watsons – they probably deserved it on the day,” he reflected. “They took their chances really well, when they had possession they held it until they got some points, and I think that was the difference.

“We stuck in there right to the end, but we made one or two crucial mistakes which cost us. I’m not apportioning any blame to anybody, but to be held up over the line twice during a crucial spell at the start off the second half made it difficult for us to come back. But it was a cracking game of rugby.”

The victors raced into a commanding lead with Ferguson scything through for the opening try in the fourth minute and then timing his pass brilliantly to send White over on 13 minutes, with Cameron converting on both occasions.

If Dollar were flustered by this breakneck start they recovered well to strike back within two minutes of that second Wats0n’s score, with Hulme – who is some machine given that he is young enough to play under-16 again next season – burrowing over, and Crockett adding the extras.

Wood struck next for Watson’s with Cameron converting again; then Dollar’s Crockett converted his own try following a long period of pressure; before Watson’s flexed their muscles up-front with a line-out drive which created an unconverted try by Cameron Geddes to make it 26-14 at the break.


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Watsonians started the second half as they finished the first, and after a sweeping handling move petered out 10 yards short, they returned to their powerful maul, with hooker and captain Michael Connor getting the downward pressure.

Dollar needed to strike next and they worked extremely hard to do that, twice being held up over the line, before Hulme eventually went over for his second. It was well-deserved but took an awful lot out of both teams.

Watson’s, however, managed to find the energy to strike back with a second try for Wood killing the contest off.

White then streaked up the right to claim his second and rub salt into Dollar wounds, but the beaten team bravely kept battling away until the last play.

Meanwhile, Queen Victoria School defeated North Berwick 33-17 in Under-16 Shield Final.


Teams –

Dollar Academy: F Disborough; G McKie, J Morton, R Arbuckle, T Hunter; A Crockett, F Keatch; G Tachtatzis, K Pritchard, R Purvis, H Staples, B Smallwood, J Hulme, A Dayman, A Jaffrey-Smith Subs: J Ritchie, A Lumsden, M Ross, F Cadell, S MacKay, A Pettigrew.

George Watson’s College: F Ferguson; M Cingel, J Thomson, J Loukes, L White; A Cameron, E Walker; D Brown, M Connor, C O’Reilly, M Fyffe, A Moran, C Geddes, H Wood, F McIntosh Subs: E Stewart, C Balfour, N Reid, R Lynes, P Sneen, D Maguire, D McKinnon.


Scorers –

Dollar Academy: Tries: Hulme 2, Crockett 2; Con: Crockett 3.

George Watson’s: Tries: Ferguson, White 2, Wood 2, Geddes, Connor; Cons: Cameron 6.

Scoring sequence (Dollar first): 0-5; 0-7; 0-12; 0-14; 5-14; 7-14; 7-19; 7-21; 12-21; 14-21; 14-26 (h-t) 14-31; 14-33; 19-33; 19-38; 19-40; 19-45; 19-47; 24-47; 26-47.

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About David Barnes 3817 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Could these lads go and play for there respective clubs now in a cup competition? Or are there rules stopping them from doing so?

    • Think you need to have played a certain number of conference games for your club to be eligible for the youth cup. I would think that would exclude them.

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