COLIN RENTON @ Goldenacre
ANOTHER Saturday and another fabulous rugby match. The final Premiership season before league restructuring just keeps on serving them up. It appears to be having an impact at the turnstiles as well, with another decent crowd watching Watsonians bounce back from two successive defeats with a victory built on a solid defensive effort and more clinical finishing than their opponents.
“What a difference seven days makes. Defensively we were good. We worked really hard, worked for each other. I’m really pleased,” said Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie. “It was a mature performance. It was by no means perfect so there is loads to work on but it was a really important victory. We really needed it.”
The visitors were well served by young guns Connor Boyle, Jamie Hodgson and Murray Scott, while Edinburgh pro Darcy Graham was a constant threat and frequently tied in two defenders with his bustling runs.
For their part, the hosts created enough chances to win the game but failed to convert pressure into points. That was frustrating for Lawrie’s Boroughmuir counterpart Peter Wright, who was left ruing wasted opportunities.
“We created four or five decent chances and we didn’t finish. At this level of rugby you don’t get a lot of chances so when you get them you have to finish them off. We were also second best at the breakdown for a big part of the game,” said Wright.
The pace was frantic from the outset, with both sides keen to play open rugby. The visitors had marginally the better of the early possession and they took the lead in 13 minutes when Lee Millar banged over a 30 metre penalty.
And they extended their lead when a penalty was despatched into touch five metres from the home line. Hodgson took the catch and set up a multi-phase assault that ended with Graham stretching over to dot down. Millar converted then added a straightforward penalty.
However, the home side showed their character with their best spell of the half and battled their way back into the match when Johnny Matthews raced at the Watsonians defence and drew the last man before releasing Craig Keddie to complete the job. Tom Wilson added the extras.
But the final action of the half took place at the other end where Millar landed his third penalty to hand the away side a nine-point interval lead.
Boroughmuir resumed with intent and threatened the opposition line with powerful runs by Jordan Edmunds and Matthews. But a ten minute spell of one-way traffic yielded no points and it was the visitors who added to their tally in 54 minutes. Ryan Montgomery was sent to the sin-bin and a subsequent string of penalties were kicked into touch before a powerful surge ended with Craig Borthwick claiming the score. Millar again converted.
The hosts battled back once more but the Watsonians defence held firm against attacks that were coming from all angles. They repelled wave after wave of assaults on their line until four minutes from full time when Jordan Edmunds displayed his finishing skills to weave his way through for an impressive solo score. Greg Cannie took the conversion quickly amid hopes that Boroughmuir could take something from the game. However, Watsonians held on to secure the victory and leave their opponents empty handed.
Boroughmuir: G Parker; K Gossman, W Wardlaw, R Kerr, J Edmunds; G Cannie, T Wilson; D Marfo, J Matthews©, R Montgomery, T Drennan, S Smith, J Steele, M Walker, R Drummond. Subs: R Dunbar, D Robertson, C Keddie, M Johnstone, A Purwell.
Watsonians: J Rowland; A Guthrie, R Hutton, D Innes, D Graham; L Millar, M Scott; G Jackson, F Renwick, N Borel, J Hodgson, C Borthwick©, F Simpson, R Graham, C Boyle. Subs: D Ferguson, G Nelson, J Miller, R Snedden, E Fox.
Referee: I Kenny
Boroughmuir: Tries: Keddie, Edmunds; Con: Wilson, Cannie.
Watsonians: Tries: Graham, Borthwick; Cons: Millar 2; Pens: Millar 3
Scoring sequence: (Boroghmuir first): 0-3, 0-8, 0-10, 0-13, 5-13, 7-13, 7-16 (h-t) 7-21, 7-23, 12-23 14-23.
Yellow cards –
Man-of-the-match: Teenager Connor Boyle edged out several contenders for the award, covering every blade of the Meggetland turf and contributing a massive tackle count.
Talking point: Another outstanding encounter in a league that continues to produce great rugby. It is difficult to see how the Super Six will eclipse this for sheer entertainment.