Boroughmuir skipper Andy Rose believes the Meggetland men can use their BT Cup win over Stirling County as a springboard to success as they chase dual goals of BT Premiership survival and knockout glory.
’Muir booked their place in the last four with a 25-22 home win on Saturday and the Zimbabwe international said of the club’s improving fortunes: “We are gaining a lot of confidence. We are getting a couple of players back and they are growing into those positions.”
That upward trajectory has come too late to deliver on the potential that had many observers tipping ’Muir for a place in the top half of the league table. But Rose is delighted by the character now evident in the squad.
“We had high targets at the beginning of the season but due to injuries and stuff we couldn’t really get to them. The boys are trying to make up for it now and it’s showing,” he added. “I’m really chuffed with the boys for stepping up in the last half.
“We could have very easily folded and said ok we will start again next season. But the boys have stepped up and put a marker down.”
Of Saturday’s victory, he stated: “It’s important. We haven’t had the greatest run in the league. Doing well in the cup helps us to get the confidence up. This win is a building block.”
Rose made a typically robust contribution to Saturday’s success, forming a potent back row with Mike Entwhistle and the game’s outstanding player, Iain Moody, as ’Muir handled a lively Stirling offensive and counter-attacked to great effect.
Moody claimed the first of ’Muir’s four tries and Carl Bezuidenhout added a penalty then delivered an exquisite kick that opened the Stirling defence for Sep Visser to bag a touchdown as the hosts reached the interval with a 13-9 lead – Joffy Hope landing three penalties for Stirling.
Another try by Visser was followed by a penalty from Bezuidenhout. Simon Berghan then blasted over for a 25-12 lead, Hope having kicked another penalty.
Two late tries by Shaun McDonald left a final score that was not truly indicative of the match.
‘Muir coach Bruce Aitchision attributed Moody’s impressive performance to the number 8’s involvement in the Scotland Club international side’s win over their Irish counterparts earlier this month.
“I thought he had one of his stronger games. The Scottish call up has been really good for his confidence,” said Aitchison. “He has got a reward for the hard work he has put in. When you have Mikey Entwhistle and Andy Rose working alongside him, and Craig Keddie comes off the bench and puts in a shift as well, it means he can do the things he is good at.”
The coach was delighted with the result. “You would like the scoreboard to be a bit tidier but I thought we performed pretty well,” he said.
“I am proud of the boys. They have worked really hard and now we are beginning to see a team we thought we were going to have earlier in the season.”
Boroughmuir: Tries – Moody, Visser (2), Berghan: Con – Bezuidenhout: Pen – Bezuidenhout
Stirling County: Tries – McDonald (2); Pens – Hope (4)
Boroughmuir: C Marshall, G McConnell, S Visser, D Reekie, J Edmunds, C Bezuidenhout, J Adams, R Wilson, C Davies, S Berghan, T Sutton, A Best, A Rose, M Entwhistle, I Moody. Subs: J Latta, D O’Connell, C Keddie, S Johnson, C Laidlaw, S Bingham, R Bradford
Stirling County: C Robertson, M Lamb, C Hughes, D Gilmour, J Urquhart, J Hope, A Black, J Bhatti, R Kennedy, C Hutton, E Howgate, R Leishman, S Robertson, S McDonald, S Neill. Subs: C Fenton, G Mountford, M Smith, C McInally, D Lyle, B Gilchrist, A MnCube
Referee: C Rudkin