Liberton rugby club have at last something to celebrate after posting a stunning first win of the season when opening their East Regional Bowl campaign.
The Double Hedges outfit, who languish bottom of East Division Three, turned the table upside down by winning 30-27 at home to leaders Inverleith.
To put things in perspective, Liberton’s 30 points meant they had contributed to more than half the 56 conceded by Inverleith during their entire league season so far. Inverleith, who had won 46-3 at Liberton, went into the weekend encounter buoyed by seven straight league victories. The previous weekend they had produced a whopping 109-0 rout of Walkerburn.
Liberton’s shock victory came almost exactly a year after the Evening News reported how they had ended a 30 month losing streak in 2011, and Mikey Steele, the club’s prop forward and vice president, said progress had been made.
“Our coaches, Phil Murphy and Gary Reilly, have instilled a sense of discipline in us, so we are not giving away silly penalties,” he said. “We have also been recruiting well, with young Mike Firoozi arriving to spearhead the back division and four members of 3Rifles billeted in Edinburgh – Dan Bromwich, Mark Fletcher, James and Dean Jackson – free from army duties to turn out at the weekend. Firozzi scored two of our three tries against Inverleith.”
Club captain John Greens missed the tie because of illness but in his absence Darren Tiffney stepped up to give a lead from hooker, notching a try as well as several conversions and penalties. Steele added: “There was a lot of banter at a big training turn-out this week that our captain might struggle to reclaim his place. Also, some satisfaction was taken from the fact that one of our ex-players, Nick Hamner, left to join Inverleith. The win puts us through to the quarter-finals of the East Regional event, where we will meet Broughton.”
Steele’s willingness to put his body on the line saw him replaced during the second half by Euan Cowe but he is confident of recovering this weekend to face Royal (Dick) Vet in a re-arranged league game scheduled to kick-off early to allow players and supporters to watch Scotland face the Springboks at Murrayfield.
“There is a real determination to show that a win based on claiming an early lead and always managing to keep our noses in front was no flash in the pain.”