Currie Chieftains coach Ben Cairns hailed the battling qualities of his players after they edged out Tennent’s Premiership leaders Ayr 24-23 in a tense clash at Malleny Park.
Neither side produced the flowing rugby of which they are capable, but it was an engrossing affair in which each team held the lead three times.
The visitors were 10-7 ahead at half-time through tries from Steven Longwell and Blair Macpherson which sandwiched a Chieftains touchdown from Matt Hooks, converted by Gregor Hunter.
Hooks nudged Chieftains in front with his second score but Frazier Climo reclaimed the lead for Ayr with a penalty before converting a Pete McCallum score for an eight point lead with 12 minutes to play.
However, the hosts were desperate to win in memory of Currie stalwart Campbell Reynolds, whose recent death shocked the club. They struck back with a try by Fergus Scott, converted by Hunter. Climo stretched the gap to four points with a penalty before Graeme Carson emerged from a heap of bodies after a maul to claim the winning try.
And a defensive effort brimming with character repelled Ayr in a desperate finish, as Chieftains held out for the five points that returns them to fourth spot at the expense of Watsonians.
“We can play a lot better than that, they can play a lot better than that. There were lots of mistakes,” said Cairns. “But that win is down to guts, not really that much down to execution.”
Boroughmuir continued their upturn in fortunes when they took five points from a 26-12 win at Hawick. Jordan Edmunds touched down and Gavin Parker converted to give Muir a 7-0 half-time lead. Further tries by Johnny Matthews, Craig Gossman and Parker, who added two conversions, clinched the win that leaves them sixth in the table, nine points behind Chieftains.
As has been the case throughout the campaign, Edinburgh Accies showed plenty of spirit, battling back from a 19-5 half-time deficit at home to Stirling County to lead by a point within ten minutes of the restart. They were again unable to cling to that advantage and went down 31-23. However, on another gloomy day for the Raeburn Place outfit, there were glimmers of light, including a try-scoring debut for teenager Harry Paterson, who was joined on the score sheet by Robert Wilson and Robbie Kent, with Richard Mill kicking the other points.