Accies coach hails spirit after gritty fightback

Jonny Else
Jonny Else
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Edinburgh Accies coach Jonny Else has hailed the fighting qualities of his players after staging a fightback brimming with character to squeeze home 31-30 in their RBS Premiership fixture away to Stirling County.

Reflecting on a result that brought a much needed fivepoint haul after two defeats had left Accies in the lower half of the league table, Else said: “I’m delighted with the win. To come back from 30-16 down and win away from home with a bonus point showed real grit and determination.”

Michael Liness touched down and Alex Black converted, having also booted a penalty on his debut as front line kicker, as Accies reached the interval 20-10 in arrears. Two further penalties by Black kept Accies in the match but a converted try and a penalty for the hosts left Else’s men with a massive task entering the final quarter. However, a score by Jamie Sole sparked a stunning finale that saw Ruaraidh Bonner and Neill Aitken touch down to seal the victory which has moved Accies up to sixth spot in the table.

Elsewhere, Musselburgh bounced back from a home defeat on league duty the previous weekend when they took the honours in their RBS Cup Pool 1 derby with Haddington at Stoneyhill. ’Burgh’s 37-12 success yielded all five points and means they could yet progress to the knockout phase of the competition although that would require an improbable sequence of results.

Heriot’s were given a stiff test in their match against near neighbours Stewart’s Melville at Goldenacre before eventually chalking up a 40-17 win. However it took two late tries for the home side to finally see off a determined Stew Mel group who had won their previous nine matches and confirmed their readiness to battle for a place in the top flight next season.

The hosts led 21-10 at the break but, despite extending their lead when former Stew Mel man Liam Steele crossed the whitewash, they were never able to fully shake off their determined opponents and the match was still poised at 26-17 with 12 minutes to play. However, Heriot’s stepped up a gear to bag two further tries and secure the win which has moved them to the top of Pool 3, leapfrogging Murrayfield Wanderers, who had enjoyed a brief spell at the summit following a 54-7 win over Livingston on Thursday.

Elsewhere, Currie extended their winning run in cup and league to four matches when they swatted aside the challenge of Lasswade at Hawthornden in Pool 2 on Friday night. The 73-17 win also secures a place in the knockout stages of the competition.