Currie coach Ally Donaldson hailed the spirit of his men after they lifted the RBS Edinburgh Regional Cup with a 16-14 win over Heriot’s at a rain-swept Malleny Park last night.
Currie: Try – Weston. Con – Forbes. Pens – Forbes (3)
Heriot’s: Tries – Boisseau (2). Cons – Wilson (2)
In the process, Donaldson’s side booked a spot in the quarter-finals of the National Cup competition and a tie at home to Dundee High on March 2.
“I’m so chuffed for the players. They have worked so hard and it’s great for them to have won some silverware,” said the home supremo after seeing his side battle to overcome a Heriot’s side left to rue their inability to capitalise on first half domination.
The victory, however, came at a price for Currie, whose young hooker Michael Vernel suffered a broken ankle, an injury that caused play to be halted for 12 minutes. “It’s such a shame for Mikey because he has just broken into the first team,” lamented Donaldson.
The quality of the rugby may have suffered as a result of the conditions, but that was fully compensated by the tension. The hosts took the lead within seconds of the kick off when an offence on the edge of the Heriot’s 22 left Jamie Forbes the simple task of stroking the ball between the sticks.
Heriot’s responded with an attack down the left flank and when that was thwarted, the ball was shipped to the opposite wing where Harry Boisseau dummied his way over. Graham Wilson thumped over the touchline conversion.
Forbes clipped over his second penalty to trim the deficit to a point, but Heriot’s extended their lead when Cammy Ferguson scythed through the home defence and freed Boisseau, who raced in at the corner for his second try, which Wilson converted.
Heriot’s continued to press, but failed to add to their tally although the penalties continued to mount against the home side and skipper Mark Cairns was the unlucky player who was yellow carded when referee Peter Allan lost patience.
Currie did well to survive until the break without conceding further points and, with Cairns back in harness, they made a solid start to the second period.
Forbes was wide with a long range penalty effort as Currie continued to apply incessant pressure, but the Heriot’s defence remained intact and the home side added to their woes with errors at key moments.
The Currie momentum remained intact, even after the lengthy stoppage for the injury to Vernel. They resumed with another surge into opposition territory and a renewed series of assaults on the Heriot’s line eventually produced a try for Ross Weston. Forbes was on target with the conversion to leave the hosts a point adrift.
His next penalty effort struck a post but he ensured that Currie earned the reward their second half performance merited when he landed his next effort to nudge his side into what proved to be a winning lead.
Donaldson admitted that he feared his players had passed up the opportunity to win the match, saying: “We spent the first 20 minutes of the second half in their half and we had so many chances that we hadn’t taken. You do start to wonder if it will ever come.”
The league, however, remains his priority. “It’s a great boost to win a trophy but we are at a stage in the league where we could be going for a British & Irish Cup place, or we could end up in a dog fight,” he said.
Currie: J Forbes, A Hinds, S James, J Broadley, M Peacock, C Van der Westerlo, R Snedden, A Hamilton, M Vernel, F Watts, G Temple, S Marcel, M Cairns, M Enthwhistle, R Weston. Subs Used: B Elmslie, M Erskine, K Swaelek, D Pech, M Johnstone
Heriot’s: C Goudie, M Nimmo, M Learmonth, C Ferguson, H Boisseau, R Carmichael, G Wilson, C Owenson, |K Bryce, S Cessford, B Morrissey, CJ Osazuwa, R Nimmo. C Mulligan, J Hill. Subs Used: G Cameron, S Mustard, J Syme, O Brown, M Paterson
Referee: P Allan (SRU)