Magic 2's v Stirling County 2's - September 23rd
Bog day out at Bridgehaugh with seven Boroughmuir teams of all ages playing through the day. The new changing rooms were opened that morning but I think they forgot that rugby squads have around 20 players in each team with rooms fit for closer to 10 senior players. That said it is good to see Bridgehaugh getting a bit of a face lift and good luck to them.
The Magic 2s started well with a turnover from the kick off follower by captain 'Mousey' blasting the next ruck to disrupt ball. It looked like it was going to be a good day for the strong 2s team until Stirling started to run and with ball pushed wide the strong running full back found a gap, bumped a player and drove over for a 7-0 score after 5 mins. Some silly individual errors kept letting Stirling attack but strong defence repelled them each time.
A break down the right saw a shocker of a pass to Mark Hare, having to pick up brilliantly from his toes, to carry on the movement. Four phases later Big Aubz, Ex-Stirling player, was held up under the posts. Muir eventually got on the score board after 17mins with a penalty 15 out being kicked to the corner. Line-out won, ruck in the middle and 18yr old Tom Barker over on the opposite corner with a Mike Wilson conversion.
From the Kick off Fin Field, returning after finding his way home from Taiwan, gathered ball and offloaded quickly to the charging Dan McAlister. The ball was recycled and spun out left only to come back right for Barker to be on hand to dot down for his 2nd try of the day. Wilson missed the con.
At 26 minutes came the try of the season. Stirling kicked to our 5m line in the right corner and Barker caught, passed in field to Henderson then across to Renton on the right wing via Hare. Ben Renton then skipped past the winger, dodged 30 metres inside the full back to be tackled by a scramble defence.
The forwards hit it up once more making Stirling retreat and then the ball was speedily fed through the hands holding the Stirling back line for Barker to score the full length of the field try and get his hattrick. Conversion missed but Muir up 17-7 and looking good... maybe too good as complacency seemed to kick in. Mike Brown, our newly recruited centre from Clontarf in Ireland, went off in his first game injured but he was ably replaced by 18-year-old Grant Innes. That said, Stirling were having none of it and 34mins in they had a scrum and the 8 picked and went creating space and broke our defence to offload to make the score 17-14 at the half.
They almost got another score, but Aubrey scrambled and won the chase against the Stirling midfield to dot down for a 22m drop out.
The second half belonged to Stirling and after 9 mins they scored and converted to take the score to 21-17 in their favour and it stayed that way until the end. A poor day at the set piece for Muir and some silly individual errors made the task even harder. Stirling were strong at pick and goes around the ruck and got go forward. They also held onto ball making it difficult for Muir to gain ball. Muir had chances but could not break the Stirling line.
All in all, Stirling deserved the win but Muir certainly had the opportunities and as noted the try of the season which will be tough to beat... although with five 18-year-olds in the team and a growing belief amongst the players there is a lot more to come from the 2’s. Hamilton had better watch out this weekend coming!