Accies sign off from top tier with a victory

Graham Wilson kicked vital points for Heriot's
Graham Wilson kicked vital points for Heriot's
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Edinburgh Accies bade farewell to the BT Premiership on a defiant note when they saw off Stirling County 15-12 at Raeburn Place on Saturday.

Accies, who were already condemned to the drop, trailed 12-5 at half-time against a side desperate for the win to pull clear of the relegation zone, with the home points coming through a try from James Pearse. However, Accies had the better of the second period and further touchdowns from Greg Campbell and Lewis Niven saw them post only their fifth win of the campaign.

Heriot’s chalked up five tries as they beat Gala 34-28 at Goldenacre.

Jono Armstrong had a double and there was one score apiece for George Turner, Liam Steele and Glenn Bryce, with Graham Wilson booting three conversions and a penalty to set the seal on an impressive regular season that takes Phil Smith’s men go into the title play-offs as top seeds.

The Borderers claimed two bonus points for scoring four tries and sustaining a narrow defeat to remain in fourth and remain set for a place in the title deciders where they would be up against Heriot’s. However, the result leaves the door open for Currie, who sit three points adrift of Gala, to bag a top-four finish with a win over Glasgow Hawks in a match which has not yet been rescheduled.

Stewart’s Melville were looking to bounce back from the previous week’s defeat when they travelled to face Biggar in the penultimate game of their National Division One campaign. Angus Rennie touched down twice for the visitors and Chris Beattie also crossed the whitewash, with Mike Hanning landing two conversions as StewMel, who had several regulars unavailable, chalked up a 19-17 victory that keeps them in second and on track for the promotion play-offs for a successive season. However, GHA, their rivals for the runner’s-up berth that would set up the decider against the second bottom Premiership side, also posted a narrow win without a bonus. StewMel, who will conclude their programme against Peebles have a two-point advantage over GHA but have played a game more.

The bottom two teams in Division Two both suffered defeats, with basement side Livingston going down 66-10 away to Ardrossan Accies, leaving the West Lothian men rooted to the foot of the table, four points behind Haddington, who lost 49-15 at home to Howe of Fife. Livingston have played four matches fewer than Haddington and could yet escape the bottom two.

The promotion spots in Division Three have been finalised, with Lasswade and Preston Lodge stepping up next season, while Murrayfield Wanderers are confirmed in last place. The top two had a weekend off but Wanderers were at West of Scotland in a match postponed three times. The Capital men who went down 104-0.