Coach is delighted as Heriot’s stay in touch

Staying in control: Heriot's Jack Turley and Alex Henderson pounce on a loose ball. Picture Toby Wiliams.
Staying in control: Heriot's Jack Turley and Alex Henderson pounce on a loose ball. Picture Toby Wiliams.
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Heriot’s coach Phil Smith acknowledged that his players were short of their best in their RBS Premiership win over Aberdeen Grammar.

However, he was delighted with the 21-18 win that keeps the Goldenacre side in the title race and gives Smith material to work with as he bids to crank up the challenge for honours over the coming weeks.

A match that featured five yellow cards – two for Struan Cessford, the former Heriot’s prop now playing for Aberdeen – did little to help the quality of the rugby. But tries from Max Nimmo, Max Learmonth and a penalty award, all converted by Graham Wilson, saw Heriot’s home, despite a strong finish from the short-handed visitors.

“It was a great result but a poor, error-strewn performance,” admitted Smith. “There is work to be done this week, but that’s now six in a row.”

The win leaves Heriot’s in a four-team group that has broken clear at the top of the table. At the other end, it was another tough day for a Currie team who went into their clash at home to Glasgow Hawks buoyed by a win the previous week and the selection of three of Saturday’s squad for the Scotland Under-20 squad training camp.

One of that trio, George Horne supplied a try, conversion and penalty for Ally Donaldson’s side, and Harvey Elms also touched down, but a rampant Hawks ran in seven tries on their way to a 48-15 win.

In the RBS National League Stewart’s Melville posted a 21-18 win over Dundee High in a tight affair at Inverleith. Mike Hanning kicked a penalty then converted Jonathan Hamblin’s try as Stew-Mel reached the interval 10-8 ahead. Hanning’s boot kept Stew-Mel in the game and he proved to be the match winner with a late penalty after a tense final quarter in which Alan Whittingham touched down.

Musselburgh maintained the pressure on RBS Championship Division B pacesetters but were made to work hard for their 32-27 win in a hotly contested East Lothian derby against Haddington at Neilson Park that saw the lead change hands five times.

’Burgh led 13-7 at half time after Danny Owenson landed two penalties and converted a try by Jye Thomas in response to an early James Ferguson try, converted by Nick Bell.

Andy Lamb and Lance Gahan finally saw off the dogged hosts for whom Bell kicked a late penalty to garner a deserved narrow-defeat bonus point.

Livingston moved into the top half of the table with a 42-19 win at home to Kirkcaldy, and Murrayfield Wanderers broke their duck with a 23-18 success at Lasswade.