Nick McCashin and Stew Mel push on for promotion

Nick McCashin
Nick McCashin
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Stewart’s Melville turned on the style to post a 31-0 win that keeps the Inverleith men on track to challenge for promotion from BT National Division One.

With pacesetters Selkirk enjoying a 14-point lead at the top of the table, the best Stew Mel can hope for appears to be a reprise of last season’s play-off. And, after returning from the trip to face Marr, that is very much a reality for Bruce MacNaughton’s men.

Skipper Nick McCashin was back in harness after a holiday in his native New Zealand. And the stand off wasted no time in issuing a reminder of his value to the side, darting in for the opening try of the afternoon after ten minutes then adding the conversion. Further touchdowns from Ruaridh Mitchell and Rhys Morgan, the first of which was converted by McCashin, left the Inverleith men 19-0 up at the break. And the Capital side added gloss to the result, as well as clinching the bonus point, with Hugh Lindsay and Mike Hanning crossing the whitewash and McCashin slotting another conversion.

By contrast, the aspirations of Watsonians suffered a further setback when they succumbed 10-6 to Jedforest at Riverside Park. Chad Northcott nudged ’Sonians into the lead with an early penalty and restored a slender advantage with his second three pointer after the hosts had responded with a try from Mathew Meek. However, Ryan Miller touched down to give the Borderers a 10-6 interval lead. Neither side managed to add to their tally in a keenly contested second half, leaving ’Sonians with only a narrow defeat bonus point that leaves them 12 points adrift of second-placed GHA.

Haddington moved away from the basement slot in Division Two after posting a 29-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Livingston.

At the other end of the table, Musselburgh remain firmly in the shake up for promotion after taking all five points from a 25-12 win away to Ardrossan Accies.

Tries by Andrew Cook, Craig Owenson and William Lander saw ’Burgh into a 15-5 interval lead. Stevie Finnigan bagged the bonus point try and Danny Owenson booted the other points to move to within a point of second-placed Hamilton and Falkirk, who sit third.

Lasswade ended the year as pacesetters in Division Three although they were made to work hard for a 13-6 win away to Dunfermline. The Fifers led 3-0 at half time, but Lasswade bagged two tries plus a penalty in the second period to remain at the summit.

And a win for Preston Lodge over second-placed West of Scotland added to Lasswade’s delight. PL remain firmly in the title race after emerging as 28-24 winners in a hard-fought affair at Pennypit Park.

RHC Cougars had to settle for a narrow defeat bonus after going down 20-17 away to Irvine, but there was no seasonal joy for bottom side Murrayfield Wanderers, who were beaten 83-5 away to Dumfries Saints.