Rugby: Currie suffer blow in title hunt as County triumph

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Currie’s RBS Premiership title hopes faltered when the Malleny Park men returned with a solitary point to show for their efforts in a 32-24 defeat against Stirling County at Bridgehaugh.

Touchdowns from Gary Temple, Andy MacMahon, Dave Smith and Jamie Forbes, who also slotted two conversions, yielded the four try bonus, but the result leaves Ally Donaldson’s men five points adrift of leaders Melrose, who have a game in hand.

Boroughmuir were on the wrong end of a 20-8 score line against Gala at Netherdale although the Capital men, whose points came courtesy of a try from Andy Rose and a penalty by Ally Warnock, could take heart from a performance that suggested they are returning to the form they displayed earlier in the campaign.

Meanwhile, Stewart’s-Melville top RBS Premier B after emerging with all five points from a dramatic 32-30 win over Watsonians in a pulsating contest at Inverleith.

’Sonians raced into a well-deserved early lead with Ben Di Rollo, Mark Rennie and Ross Aitken bagging a try apiece inside the opening 13 minutes, while a Kaide Whiting penalty was all the hosts could muster in response. However, by the break the complexion of the match had changed with Richard Borthwick claiming a try, converted by Mike Hanning, who also notched a penalty as the hosts recovered their composure after the early pummelling.

Shortly after the restart, Brian Walls added a penalty to his two earlier conversions then responded to a converted try for the hosts by Reece O’Leary with a neatly struck drop goal to leave ’Sonians 25-20 ahead entering the final quarter. Hanning dotted down to square matters but Aitken restored the five point advantage when he squeezed in at the corner for his second score.

Stew-Mel finished with a flourish and deep into injury time, Whiting barged over between the sticks, leaving Hanning with a simple conversion to snatch the victory and leave their city rivals with only two bonus points for their endeavours.

The Inverleith side’s backs coach Donald Snodgrass hailed the performance of his men while acknowledging the contribution of their opponents.

“Effort wise we were outstanding – I cannot fault the boys,” he said.

“It was attitude that won us that game. I’m not convinced we were that smart – they were definitely more clinical than we were – but when you have 70 per cent of the ball, you are hard to beat.”