NOT for the first time this season, Ali Mackie’s powerful carrying was key to getting Stirling County on the front foot in their victory over Glasgow Hawks, but he misses out on selection at No 8 to Scott McGinley of Currie Chieftains, who scored his team’s opening try and was excellent both sides of the ball.
McGinley is joined in the back-row by Heriot’s flankers Jack McLean (two tries) and Iain Wilson, who were absolutely crucial to their team’s bonus-point victory in appalling conditions at Mansfield Park. Aubrey Mncube of Boroughmuir was unfortunate to miss out.
James Pow was outstanding in the second-row for Stirling County, dominating the line-out and carrying well against Glasgow Hawks; while Adam Sinclair was a huge presence at the heart of the pack for Heriot’s at muddy Mansfield.
Struan Cessford anchored Heriot’s scrum and never fails to put a shift in round the park, but misses out on this occasion for the tight-had berth to Boroughmuir’s Dan Winning, who was excellent in his team’s victory over Melrose at Meggetland, which was all the more impressive because it was his first appearance after 14 months out with an ACL injury.
You’ve got to pick Johnny Matthews at hooker, after he crosse the line for the 19th time this season to finish the campaign as the league’s top try scorer, equalling the club record set by Calvin Howarth set back in 1999-2000 (although that was when the club were in the second tier and he played one more game).
Finn Hobbis scrummaged well in what was perhaps his best performance to date in a Watsonians jersey so is at lose-head.
At half-back, Kaleem Barreto scored a good try and had a couple of incisive breaks at scrum-half for Hawks, which edges him just ahead of Andrew Simmers of Heriot’s; and Lee Millar pulled the strings as Watsonians finished the season on a high with a win over top of the table Ayr, but misses out to Hawick’s Lee Armstrong, who gets the nod for his persistence against the odds in trying to break Heriot’s well organised defence.
Andrew Goudie, playing out of position at inside-centre, defended excellently and scored an excellent try for Stirling County , while Robbie Kent‘s direct running at outside-centre for Edinburgh Accies made him a strong contender, but Andrew Chalmers of Watsonians edges it.
Ben Robbins was Currie Chieftains’ most threatening back and was always looking for work, which earns him the No 14 jersey, with Rory Steele getting the other wing slot after an excellent performance for Watsonians.
Youngster Harry Paterson of Edinburgh Accies completes the line-up after an excellent performance in which his elusive running caused Currie Chieftains all sorts of bother.
15. Harry Paterson (Edinburgh Accies)
14. Ben Robbins (Currie Chieftains)
13. Andrew Chalmers (Watsonians)
12. Andrew Goudie (Stirling County)
11. Rory Steele (Watsonians)
10. Lee Armstrong (Hawick)
9. Kaleem Baretto (Glasgow Hawks)
1. Finn Hobbis (Watsonians)
2. Johnny Matthews (Boroughmuir)
3. Dan Winning (Boroughmuir)
4. James Pow (Stirling County)
5. Adam Sinclair (Heriot’s)
6. Iain Wilson (Heriot’s)
7. Jack McLean (Heriot’s)
8. Scott McGinley (Currie Chieftains)