Heriot’s remain top of the BT Premiership table after a hard fought 16-8 win away to Glasgow Hawks, but the champions lost ground to their two nearest pursuers who both took all five points.
However, the absence of a four-try bonus for the first time this season was less important than the result against the only side to beat Heriot’s home and away last season. Hawks again made life difficult for the champions, who had a try from Ian Wilson and 11 points from Graham Wilson. The scrum half landed two penalties then converted his namesake’s touchdown to leave Heriot’s 13-3 up at the break, and he responded to a try for Hawks with a third penalty that secured the victory.
Boroughmuir posted a 22-18 success at home to Selkirk that moves them into the top four, but, while he was satisfied with remaining unbeaten, coach Bruce Aitchison was far from happy with the performance.
After falling behind to two penalties, tries from Magnus Bradbury and Andy Rose, plus a conversion and a penalty by Greg Cannie gave ‘Muir a 15-6 interval lead. The Borderers trimmed the gap to four points with a try before Mark Hare settled home nerves when he pounced on a loose pass and darted in, leaving Cannie a simple conversion. However, a converted touchdown in injury time gave Selkirk a bonus point.
Compounding Aitchison’s disappointment at the squandered opportunities was the loss of Chris Laidlaw with a wrist injury that may force the stand off out of this week’s trip to face Gala.
‘Muir’s place in the leading quartet came at the expense of Currie, who slipped to fifth spot after going down to an agonising 17-13 loss at Hawick. Trailing 10-0 at half time, the visitors struck back with a penalty from James Bywater plus tries by Ross Weston and Hamish Bain to lead as the clock ticked towards full time. However, a converted try by the Borderers in the final minute left Currie with only a narrow defeat bonus point for their efforts.
Meanwhile, Stewart’s Melville shrugged off the mixed fortunes of recent weeks to return victorious from a potentially hazardous trip to meet Hamilton Bulls in the first round of the BT Cup. Ross McCann bagged two of his side’s five tries as StewMel emerged from a tough contest with a 31-24 win.
Joining the Inverleith men in the second round draw are Watsonians, RHC Cougars and Preston Lodge, who were comfortable winners over Ardrossan Accies, East Kilbride and West of Scotland respectively.
Elsewhere, tight finish specialists Musselburgh again left it late, bagging two tries to overturn a nine point deficit and squeeze past Kelso 30-29. Meanwhile, Josh Swanepoel led the way with a hat trick of touchdowns as Edinburgh Accies posted a 61-7 win at Perthshire.
But the cup dream is over for Haddington, Livingston and Lasswade, who bowed out at the hands of higher division opponents in the shape of Dundee High, Falkirk and Marr.