Rugby: Currie loss adds extra spice to B&I Cup qualification

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The race to qualify for next season’s British & Irish Cup intensified after Currie tumbled to a 35-12 RBS Premiership defeat at home to Dundee High, while their rivals picked up points.

The Malleny Park side can afford few slips in the coming weeks if they are to secure a top four finish after a match in which the key talking point was the return to action of Scotland international Rory Lamont, who bagged one of his side’s four tries. It was a disappointing performance by Currie, for whom James Johnstone and Malcolm Peacock claimed tries.

Elsewhere, new life was injected into the RBS National League title race after Watsonians suffered a second successive defeat in the competition and now hold only a single point advantage over pursuers Glasgow Hawks – who have a game in hand – and Hawick.

Sonians led 13-7 at the interval in their match at home to Hillhead/Jordanhill, with Marcus Heather touching down for a try, converted by Brian Walls, who also slotted two penalties. However, the Myreside men were unable to add to their points tally in the second period, allowing the visitors to battle back for a 20-13 win. Stewart’s Melville continued their recent upturn in fortunes when they returned from Kelso with a 23-21 win to their credit. Stew/Mel trailed 16-10 at the interval after Adam Greig touched down for a try, converted by Seb Trotter, who had already booted a penalty. A score for Craig Marshall was again converted by Trotter who added a penalty, while Liam Steele was on target with a drop goal effort. A courageous defensive effort kept the Borderers out until the final minute and ensured the win for Bruce Macnaughton’s side.

Meanwhile, in Championship League B, Musselburgh travelled to face pacesetters Howe of Fife. Burgh took the lead through a Ryan Hook penalty and reached the break 5-3 in arrears. The hosts added two more tries before Lance Gahan touched down for the East Lothian men and Hook converted, but the visitors were powerless against a late flourish by Howe, which produced two further touchdowns and a 31-10 result that means Howe lead Peebles by one point, with Burgh a 
further seven points adrift.

Lasswade produced a strong second half performance to post a 34-27 win at home to Haddington, while Murrayfield Wanderers lost 16-8 away to Perthshire.