Heriot’s showed the character that had been absent during defeat by Glasgow Hawks seven days earlier to battle throughout the 80 minutes and edge out Hawick 16-12 in a keenly-contested BT Premiership encounter that hung in the balance to the final whistle.
A penalty for Heriot’s by Graham Wilson separated the sides at the interval and the scrum half was on target with two more three pointers in the second half, as well as converting a Ben Cogley try, as the Goldenacre men squeezed home to leave Hawick, who won the try count 2-1, with a second successive narrow defeat bonus point.
Elsewhere in the Borders, Currie, winners over Hawick on the opening day, returned to earth with a thump when they succumbed 60-22 to Gala. Currie skipper Ross Weston took his try tally to three in two matches and was joined on the scoresheet by Chris Logan and Mike Vernel. However, that made little impression on Gala’s ten-try haul.
One tier down, any doubts the Capital’s representatives may have had over the intensity of the race for promotion from BT National Division 1 were swept away by events in the opening round of fixtures. Watsonians had the consolation of a four-try bonus point after Ally Miller, Rory Drummond, Reiss Cullen and Ross Aitken bagged a touchdown apiece. Brian Walls weighed in with a ten-point kicking contribution, but that was not sufficient to stave off a 40-30 defeat at home to GHA.
Across the city, Stewart’s Melville fared marginally better, sharing the spoils after a tense affair at Inverleith against Aberdeen Grammar. Ciaran Whyte, Ben Wilson and Rhys Morgan all crossed the whitewash, while Nick McCashin added a conversion and three penalties to give StewMel a 26-23 lead entering the final ten minutes. But Alex Haggart squared matters for Grammar and the hosts passed up a late scoring opportunity to leave the match in stalemate.
Musselburgh laid down an early marker In Division 2, running in eight tries as they eased to a 46-3 success over Cartha Queens Park at Stoneyhill. Elsewhere, Livingston went down at home to Greenock Wanderers. A converted try by veteran winger Geoff Caldwell early in the second half edged the hosts into the lead but a strong finish secured a 32-17 win for the visitors. Meanwhile, Haddington handed a league debut to Donald McKenzie away to Ardrossan Accies. But it proved to be a disappointing trip for the No.8, ending up on the wrong side of a 72-8 score line.
RHC Cougars made an impressive start to their Division 3 campaign with a 55-10 victory over Hawick YM. Preston Lodge posted a hard-fought 15-6 win against Irvine, and Lasswade ground out a 15-10 win over Perthshire, but there was disappointment for Murrayfield Wanderers who lost 35-10 at East Kilbride.