Watsonians turned on the power to chalk up a substantial victory at Haddington in Saturday’s RBS Edinburgh Regional Cup clash and secure a semi-final meeting with Currie after a day of high scoring, but no cup upsets.
Of the four berths available to the three pool winners and best runner up, Currie had already secured one slot with wins in Pool 2 over Lasswade and Biggar, whose match on Saturday ended in a 17-0 win for the latter, although that had no bearing on qualification.
Boroughmuir also progressed to the knockout stages with a 46-17 win over Musselburgh at Stoneyhill, extinguishing ’Burgh’s slim hopes and setting up a Capital derby with Heriot’s in the semi-final.
The Goldenacre men started the day at the top of Pool 3 and safely negotiated their trip to play Murrayfield Wanderers, chalking up a 31-0 win.
That meant that the one remaining place in this weekend’s semi-finals effectively came down to a points shoot out between Watsonians and Stewart’s Melville, who both went into their fixtures as strong favourites for big wins.
Watsonians began the day with a points difference of plus 17, giving them a small advantage over their Capital rivals. Although qualification was beyond Haddington, the hosts were looking to bounce back from a loss at Lasswade the previous week. However, while their coach Marcus di Rollo has made no secret of his dislike of the current format, the visitors were clearly up for the challenge, racking up 13 tries to emerge as 81-12 winners. Ally Ledingham topped the scoring charts with five touchdowns, while Chris Berkery and Stuart Niven each bagged a double and there was one apiece for Matt Page, Gavin Brown, Tom Hart and Mike Ker, who also landed eight conversions. The result left Watsonians with a positive points difference of 86.
Stew Mel took the field for their match against Livingston at Almond Park with a similar objective – beating the hosts by as large a margin as possible.
Having begun the day with a negative points difference of 18 points, Bruce McNaughton’s men had seven converted tries in the first half as they reached the break with a 49-0 advantage.
They kept the scoreboard ticking over in the second period, but ultimately fell short of their target leaving Watsonians as qualifiers, despite touching down 12 times in an 82-21 win.
Matt Morrell led the way with four tries, Sam Hampson bagged three, Nick McCashin had two touchdowns and 11 conversions and there was one apiece for Mike Hanning, Alan Whittingham, and Sam Rowlands.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Accies were back on British & Irish Cup duty, but lost 73-10 to London Welsh at Old Deer Park. The return fixture is this Saturday at Raeburn Place.