Heriot’s skipper Iain Wilson revealed that there was some concern in the ranks during a tense finale to a magnificent Capital derby before the Goldenacre side eventually clinched a 28-24 home win over Watsonians with a penalty try in the tenth minute of injury time.
“I was starting to worry a wee bit. There was a bit of a momentum shift and I didn’t know if we were going to get back on top,” conceded Wilson, whose side had dominated the first period but led only 21-7 at the interval before falling behind to a spirited Sonians outift. “I asked the boys to show a bit of heart and we got it in the end.”
Three points adrift after 80 minutes, the hosts made a final effort in added time, driving Watsonians back and earning a series of penalties. They then applied pressure that ended with their second penalty try of the match.
“We’ve done a lot of work through pre-season, just sticking to our systems when we are under pressure. We just keep composure and work away, get our phases right and we know we are going to give ourselves opportunities,” added Wilson, whose work rate and decision making were exemplary.
That late turnaround was only the final twist in an outstanding match. Heriot’s had tries from teenager Jack Blain and Craig Robertson, both converted by Ross Jones, plus a penalty try to lead comfortably a minute before the break. However, Watsonians struck just before half-time when Josh Rowland raced in and Lee Millar converted.
The visitors were transformed in the second period and Millar booted a penalty and then onverted tries from Angus Guthrie and Jack Stanley to establish a lead they still held entering the crucial final phase of the encounter when Wilson and his colleagues struck the decisive blow.
There was no hiding the despondent mood in the away ranks after the Myreside men were forced to settle for a narrow defeat bonus point from a game that was within their grasp. “We had a very heavy penalty count in the whole game. You’ve got to be disciplined. It’s disappointing and there is a bit of learning around how we close the game out. We will get better,” said Sonians coach Steve Lawrie.
Meanwhile, Boroughmuir opened their account for the season in impressive style, scoring 11 tries in a 63-7 win at home to Hawick. Jordan Edmunds and Jonny Matthews scored a hat-trick apiece and Will Wardlaw claimed a double, while there was one each for Stuart Smith, Jack Steele and Rory Arthur as Muir cruised to victory.
For a second successive week, Edinburgh Accies left their fightback too late and they returned empty handed from their trip to face Stirling County, having gone down 38-24.
Richard Mill gave the Raeburn Place men an early lead when he booted a penalty, but by half-time they trailed 24-3. After the restart, Cammy Gray added a double to his debut try the previous week and Neil Armstrong also dotted down, while Richard Mill landed all three conversions, but ultimately they came up short once more.
There was also disappointment for Currie Chieftains who suffered a 30-17 loss at Ayr. Despite having the better of the first half, Chieftains trailed 14-10 at the break after the hosts claimed tries either side of a touchdown from Fraser Watt, converted by Gregor Hunter, who added a penalty. However, the gap grew to 17 points before a Robbie Nelson touchdown, converted by Hunter came too late to prevent Chieftains ending with nothing.