Heriot’s coach Phil Smith is confident that his side can remain as title contenders when conditions become more demanding over the coming weeks. The Goldenacre men posted a vital 15-14 success away to Currie Chieftains that keeps them in the hunt for a play-off spot.
“I think we have the pack to cope with that and our backs are beginning to come more into it,” said Smith, whose side are now sixth in the league table.
Chieftains failed to take advantage of a prevailing wind in the first half and trailed 8-7 at half-time after Callum Marshall had touched down for Heriot’s and Ross Jones landed penalty, while the home side bagged a try through Cammy Gray, converted by Jamie Forbes just before the break.
Jack Turley continued his rich vein of try-scoring form when he crashed over in 52 minutes, with Ross Jones converting to leave Chieftains needing to score twice to win the game. They eventually found a way through a solid Heriot’s defence in injury time when Rhys Davies touched down. Forbes again converted, but it was too late to create any further scoring opportunities.
In the event, that narrow defeat bonus proved to be sufficient to move Chieftains into second place in the table, given results elsewhere, although the tightness of the league means they are only six points clear of seventh-placed Watsonians.
The Myreside men will go into Friday night’s floodlit encounter with leaders Melrose in buoyant mood after dismantling Ayr on the title holders’ own patch.
Sonians bounced back from being 12-10 down to lead at the break, then dominated the second period and ended with a six-try haul. Ross Graham and Rory Hutton claimed one apiece, Rory Drummond and Ally Davidson had doubles and Andrew Chalmers banged over all of the conversions and two penalties in an impressive 48-12 victory.
There was further disappointment for Boroughmuir, who, for the third time his season, had to console themselves with two bonus points after losing 31-24 at home to Glasgow Hawks.
It was a particularly painful loss for Peter Wright’s men who led throughout the 80 minutes and, with two tries from Jordan Edmunds, and one apiece for Johnny Matthews and Ciaran Whyte, plus two Greig Cannie conversions, had a seven-point advantage entering injury time. However, two tries for Hawks in the additional five minutes delivered the win for the visitors.