Boroughmuir took a giant leap towards BT Scottish Premiership safety with a stirring victory over Cup Final opponents Hawick at Meggetland.
Hawick rallied from 8-25 to level with five minutes remaining before a revived effort sealed the home win.
A delighted and relieved Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison acknowledged that the Borderers “are a good side who will hurt and come back stronger for the Cup Final”.
Yet at the same time, Aitchison insisted: “It didn’t matter what happened today so far as the cup is concerned. It is always going to be tough. The last time Hawick were in the final 38 buses left the town for Murrayfield. They will be up for it.”
The one certainty is that if the April 18 showpiece is played at the same pace and intensity as this one then it promises to be a classic.
This was a match that had everything from brilliant tries, scoring controversies, brave comebacks to sterling individual displays ... and finally a twist in the tail as a panic-ridden Boroughmuir steadied to provide a final thrust with Cal Davies battling over for the winning try.
That it fell to Davies to add to a brace by winger Jordan Edmunds and livewire scrum-half Sam Johnson was appropriate, according to Aitchison.
“Cal was our young player of last season and he won’t be far off taking the senior prize this time round. Cal was immense. He covered everything and he stayed alive and made sure we kept possession, kept going and going and going.”
And so the name-checks flowed from Aitchison headed by scrum coach, Ian Jeffery, the former Selkirk and South of Scotland hooker originally from Leith Accies. “In our previous two games our scrum had been given a pretty rough ride by Glasgow Hawks yet Ian, along with Ben Fisher who, for me, is now ready to be a professional coach, turned things around.”
Standing tall for Aitchison among those forwards were: Ian Moody – “he doesn’t get the respect he is entitled for his 15-a-side ability;” Mike Entwhistle – “I don’t know why he doesn’t collect more broken bones because his bravery takes him to crazy places;” Will Kay – “unlucky to drop back to the bench this week but came on and straightaway claimed a vital line-out.”
As for the backs, Aitchison said: “Sep Visser has been superb and Dave Reekie is playing better than I have seen him.”
The best adjective to describe this Boroughmuiir showing is character as they could easily have folded when Hawick suddenly started to cut loose from deep prompted by too-easily discarded Edinburgh stand-off Rory Hutton (one successful outing at pro level) and ex-international threequarter, Nikki Walker.
Walker had two tries to add to others by Sean Goodfellow and Wullie Blacklock.
It is quite a transformation in Boroughmuir that they found a way of effectively winning twice though there is still a possibility they will find themselves in a relegation play off as two teams now below them, Glasgow Hawks and Stirling County, still have to meet. If Hawks win that clash on Saturday Stirling are in the relegation play-off. Should Stirling win then Hawks still have to visit a Currie side could seal a top-four play-off place with victory.
Boroughmuir: Tries – Edmunds (2), Johnson, Davies. Conversions – Laidlaw (3). Penalties – Laidlaw (2).
Hawick: Tries – Walker (2), Goodfellow, Blacklock. Conversion – Armstrong. Penalty – Armstrong.
Boroughmuir: C Marshall, E Farquharson, S Visser, D Reekie, J Edmunds, C Laidlaw, S Johnson, R Wilson, C Davies, J Latta, T Sutton, A Best, C Keddie, I Moody, M Entwhistle (captain). Subs: S Clark, A Wallace, A Rose, W Kay, G McConnell.
Hawick: L Armstrong, S Peffers, N Walker, G Johnstone, S McLeod, R Hutton (captain), G Cottrell, S Muir, L Gibson, M Landels, M McKee, M Roberts, N McTaggart, B McNeill, K Davies. Subs: W Blacklock, N McLennan, G Lowrie, R Gibson, S Goodfellow.
Referee: J McPhail