Merchiston Castle top of the class in schools cup final as they prove too strong for Stewart’s Melville

Merchiston Castle School won the National Schools under-18s rugby Cup at BT Murrayfield last night, defeating Stewart’s Melville College 20-7 in the final in front of a crowd of around 3,000.

The game these sides played earlier in the season was a close affair and the early exchanges in this one were just as tight.

Winger Amaan Raza had gone close for Merchiston in the 15th minute and seven minutes later he did get on the scoresheet when he showed good pace to score an unconverted try.

No.8 Gregor Thomson was getting Stewart’s Melville on the front foot whenever he could, but Merchiston’s second five pointer came just before half-time.

Merchiston Castle players celebrate with the trophy during at BT Murrayfield

It was scored by winger Alex Callaway and Stewart’s Melville knew they needed to get off to a quick start in the second half - and they did just that.

Hooker Elliot Young went close to a try and then loosehead prop Aidan Symes did power over. When stand-off James Lewis it was 10-7 and certainly ‘game on’.

Merchiston managed to bounce back from that setback though and took control again.

Their third try on the night came from centre Lachlan Ferguson and then Raza scored his second with 13 minutes to go.

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Stewart Melville's Freddy Douglas is tackled during the Scottish schools U-18 cup final at BT Murrayfield

Both were unconverted and they then had No.8 Tom Currie yellow carded, but they held out to come out on top 20-7.

Scrum-half and co-captain Matthew de Villiers was named player of the match for the winners.

George Watson’s College from Edinburgh won the under-16s Cup final after a very entertaining match against Dollar Academy at the same venue earlier in the day.

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Captain Michal Connor led the way with two tries while winger Lewis White also bagged a brace as the Edinburgh school won 47-26 with back-row Harrison Wood named player of the match.

Back-row John Hulme scored two of Dollar’s four tries, stand-off Angus Crockett scoring the other two.

Meanwhile, two Shield finals took place at the DAM Health Stadium nearby.

In the under-18s match, Loretto School were too strong for Queen Victoria School from Dunblane.

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Harry Bone, the captain, led his charges from Musselburgh to a 43-8 triumph.

And in the under-16s match earlier in the day Queen Victoria defeated North Berwick High School 33-17.

Merchiston: B Riley; A Callaway, L McCarroll, L Ferguson, A Raza; I Coates, M de Villiers; A McGregor, J Sibbald, R Deans, O Palmer, J Blair, T McGregor, G Crawford, T Currie. Subs: M Gray, G Stephen, C Macdonald, M Brown, J Wright, J Farquhar, D McCall Smith.

Stewart’s Melville: M Dunlap; R Henderson, L Le Sueur, B Roger, F Macfarlane; J Lewis, J Burns; A Symes, E Young, J Limb, R Pratt, A Maitland, C Burns, F Douglas, G Thomson. Subs: E Waugh, C Harte, J Spencer, K McMillan, C Ross, J Gordon, I Johnston.

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