By Sally Pincott
Photos by Dave Patterson
The wind was blowing, there was a chill in the air but the sky was bright and no rain for change at Meggetland. All week long we had been checking the weather forecast to see if the Scottish winter was going to stop yet another game rugby…..it didn’t and thank the heavens it didn’t as we were in for a classic game.
Heriots sitting top of the league and with their chests firmly sticking out came with a team that was in good form and expecting to win. Boroughmuir on the other hand were here with group of lads that were peaking and troughing and needing to become more consistent.
With the referee running 15minutes late due to travel issues both teams warm ups went on and on but preparation for the Magic 2s still felt good. Unfortunately when we started the game, playing into the wind, the preparation did not look to have worked. 9 mins in and some weak tackling through the back line saw Heriots 10 and 12 create gaps for the 13 to dive over. An early 0-7 lead to the Goldenacre chaps.
5mins later and once again missed tackles saw their 13 break the gain line to offload to a pacey fullback who dived in for the score to what can only be described as whooping like hyenas from their side-lines. I certainly know at least one Bmuir coached was angered by this!
Heriots were very much in the ascendency and once again with 4 missed tackles down the left wing and to be fair some excellent footwork from the Heriots 11 he powered through offloading the ball inside our 22m to see The Nails hammer in another score. 0-21 and looking goods for the Hoops!
With Neil Rodger taken off due to a collision we saw the exuberant matt Walker back in action after 4 weeks out. We had hoped his tan would dazzle the Heriots team but it was not to be. Although Heriots had a man sin binned for a dump tackle they still managed to pick off a scrum, pull in our defence and with good hands from no.8 Syme the winger went in for a well worked try.
Last play of the half and the lively Jack Hamilton took a quick tap and wangled his way over like a ferret up a trouser leg from 8 metres to make the score 7-28 at half time. Ian Martin had to leave the pitch with a broken thumb so changes around the backline were made.
The team talk at half time from coaches Knight and Brady was based on 4 things. Firstly no panic, we had only had the ball in hand for no more than 10 minutes. 2. Go meet them in defence to stop yardage, 3. cut out silly penalties and 4, TACKLE!!!!
Something must have clicked as with 15minutes gone we had crossed their line through some excellent forward spoiling play. We won ball moved it wide to free up Bradford to race in for an well worked captains try.
With Cal Davies coming on we saw impact straight way. Tackles were now being made at the knees and Heriots big lads were falling like Douglas Firs. Another quick ball from Muir saw the forwards rumble on and with Craig Keddie looking the part in his David Sole bandaged head he managed to power over the line to bring us within 7 points.
Lack of discipline saw Heriots maul up the field and excellent play gave them a penalty just outside our 22m. they opted to kick to touch, won the lineout hit up the middle then drove us over for a forwards try. 21-35.
Boroughmuir stuck true to the game plan and kicked the ball downwind in to the correct areas and once again the forwards out powered the Heriots defence and the lanky but filled out Will Kay stretched over the line to bring us within 7 points again.
The last 10 minutes of the game was edge of the seat stuff. Heriots got ball mauled up field, then Muir got ball and ran it back but with the 3mins to go the Muir men bought the ball off the wing and set up a maul. 15 metres out. They got well set and with winger Muller coming in to help Craig Keddie once again touched down to level the scores with 3 minutes to go.
A draw was on the coaches mind and to level it against a strong Heriots team would have satisfied the coaches of Muir……but no, it was not good enough for the players and with the kick off being fielded by Blackhall in his 22m he cleared only for a late tackle to be made on him by the Heriots defence.
‘What a pillock’ went through both teams coaches as the ball sailed to their 10m line on the touchline. Penalty where the ball landed and Blackhall cleared his head, not much in there anyway, kept his head down and sent the ball between the sticks. BOOM went the Muir team and the Heriots coaches were furious. What a way to win. 38-35 final score.
Praise must be given to both teams as it was a classic and also the referee who had a great game and also kept in touch by phone when his train was delayed.
Lets hope we can build on this and pas some of that fighting spirit up the ranks to the 1st XV and down to the Bears and U18s.
The coaches are never ones to gloat but by heck what a way to beat local rivals……