Boroughmuir harvest a vital bonus point

Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison
Boroughmuir coach Bruce Aitchison
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Boroughmuir garnered a potentially vital narrow-defeat bonus point after succumbing to a late barrage and going down 5-3 against Gala in an intensely-competitive BT Premiership contest at Meggetland.

Following a scoreless first half, Muir eventually broke the deadlock after an hour when Chris Laidlaw booted a penalty, having missed two previous efforts – David Reekie was also off target with one attempt.

And Muir clung on gamely in the face of a sustained onslaught, but eventually conceded a try to Ruari Howarth who gave Gala a win that keeps the Borderers on track for a play-off spot.

“The players were absolutely phenomenal, every one of them. Their determination and their spirit was absolutely first class. They put everything into it and just came up short,” said Muir coach Bruce Aitchison.

Across the city, the focus was on Hugh Blake, the recently arrived Kiwi named by Vern Cotter in his RBS Six Nations squad. The 22-year-old played his part in a 14-12 win for Melrose over league leaders Heriot’s that thwarted the Goldenacre men’s bid for a fourth successive win and, with that, the right to have their name engraved on the Bill McLaren Shield.

Three penalties by Graham Wilson and a Gregor McNeish drop goal edged Heriot’s into a 12-11 lead entering the closing minutes but former Goldenacre player Richard Mill delivered a late blow with a drop goal that gave Melrose the win.

The Capital’s BT National League Division One representatives both posted bonus-point wins. Stewart’s Melville trimmed the deficit on second-placed GHA to two points when they eased to a 47-15 success at home to Kelso. Mike Hanning scored three tries and there was one apiece for Fraser Morrison, Rhys Morgan, Neil Bowie and Nick McCashin, who also slotted six conversions as StewMel reached the break 14-5 ahead then kicked on to complete an impressive win.

At Myreside, Ross Aitken, Rory Drummond, Ally Miller, Reiss Cullen and Chad Northcott each had a try and Andrew Chalmers kicked the other points as Watsonians chalked up a 36-20 win over Biggar.

Musselburgh, fielding a side that included four sets of brothers, ensured they remain in contention for promotion from Division Two after recording a 72-0 win over Greenock Wanderers at Stoneyhill.

Division Three pacesetters Lasswade clung to pole position after a 22-19 win at RHC Cougars. Neil Clark, Calum Sinclair and Stephen Hunter had a try apiece for Lasswade while Lewis Clarke and Bernie Hennessey kicked the other points. Cougars claimed a bonus point after Andrew Hicks bagged two tries and Euan Morrison landed three penalties.

Preston Lodge remain in the promotion race after seeing off Dalziel 35-24. Basement side Murrayfield Wanderers lost 29-18 at home to Irvine.