Heriot’s squeeze home to remain in play-off contention

Graham Wilson kicked vital points for Heriot's
Graham Wilson kicked vital points for Heriot's
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BT Premiership champions Heriot’s remain on track for the play-offs after scraping a 20-19 win over a Gala side battling to avoid the relegation play-off.

The Goldenacre men led 8-6 at the interval with their points coming through a try from Russell Nimmo and a Graham Wilson penalty. The Borderers struck with another penalty and an interception try against visitors down to 13 men with Struan Cessford and Jamie Ritchie sin-binned. However, two touchdowns by John Semple and a Wilson conversion established a six-point lead that was just enough to clinch a win after an injury-time try by the hosts went unconverted.

That loss for Gala and defeat for Stirling County against Ayr played into the hands of Boroughmuir who returned from Selkirk with a 34-12 win and five points.

Chris Laidlaw was the top contributor for Muir with 19 points, including a penalty and the conversion of a touchdown by Grant McConnell as the Capital reached the break 10-5 ahead. Further tries by Otolea Katoa and Laidlaw secured the win before Jake Kerr marked his return from long-term injury with the bonus-point score.

Watsonians took another substantial step towards a place in the top flight with a 43-26 win at home to GHA in BT National Division One. However, the afternoon was far from straightforward for Sonians, who went 19-0 down early in the game and still trailed 26-15 entering the final quarter when four tries secured the victory.

The scrap for second spot intensified when Marr squeezed home 17-11 against Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place, a defeat that means, barring an unlikely sequence of results, the Capital men will play in the second tier again next season.

Dundee High remain in the shake up for a top-two finish after beating Stewart’s Melville 29-25 at Inverleith, and Jed-forest are also still in the reckoning after a 34-10 home win over Musselburgh.

Preston Lodge now appear to have slipped out of the promotion race in Division Two after going down 29-24 at home to Kirkcaldy. Meanwhile, Lasswade fell deeper into the relegation mire after a 50-12 loss at Cartha Queens Park.

Tight-finish specialists Haddington clung to second spot in Division Three with a gutsy 17-14 success over Perthshire, while Livingston were beaten 38-20 at West of Scotland and RHC Cougars succumbed 26-19 at home to Dalziel.