BIGGAR and Stirling County will meet in the final of the Under-16 Scottish Youth League Cup scheduled for BT Murrayfield on Sunday 31st March after the two clubs booked their places in the showpiece event with respective semi-final wins over Currie Chieftains and Boroughmuir.
It has been a nail-biting set of rounds for Biggar, who defeated Melrose Wasps 25-19 in the preliminary round with a late try and then Hawick Youth in the quarter-final by a single conversion. In the semi-final at The Oriam on Sunday, it was same again for the Hartree Mill side who trailed Currie Chieftains for most of the match before producing the killer blow in the final minute of play.
“We produced a strong forwards focused performance in the second half to edge out Currie Chieftains in the dying seconds of the match,” said the Biggar coach Kenny Lean. “The Biggar team spirit and desire to reach the final was just too much for the Edinburgh boys.”
“We exerted a lot of pressure on Currie’s line. We were unlucky to lose our outside centre and then have our full-back sent to the sin-bin. That made it very difficult, but I think the strength and freshness of the bench made the difference in the end,” he added.
For Biggar, Sam Taylor (twice), Cameron Gray and Callum McCallum scored tries, two of them converted by Euan Laing, with the other points coming from a penalty by McCallum.
The result was a massive disappointment for Chieftains after the Malleny Park side had led for almost the entire match. “We’re gutted,” was the understandable response of their team manager, Bob Hogg. “The boys are disappointed but will bounce back.”
Chieftains’ tries were scored by wingers Jack Anderson and Matthew Bradshaw, second-row Owen Townsend and stand-off Euan Crombie, who also kicked two conversions.
The other semi-final was a repeat of the Under-18 confrontation the day before between the defending champions Boroughmuir and Stirling County. In the event, County, who had lost the Under-18 semi-final 24 hours earlier, turned the tables on the Meggetland club to book their place at Murrayfield with a 30-14 win.
“Once they settled in and started moving the ball I thought they played good rugby,” said the Stirling Academy manager Stewart Milne. For County, left wing Necani Revaca ran in two tries and there were single contributions from right wing Harry Wilson and flanker Cammy Lynn. Stand-off Calum Beckett kicked two penalties and two conversions for a ten points contribution.
Boroughmuir, who with twelve minutes of the game remaining, trailed by only one point, had scored two tries through No 8 Lawson McConnell, both converted by scrum half Callum Marjoribanks.
“Stirling scored a couple of late tries and a penalty. We did have a number of chances but just couldn’t convert them,” conceded Boroughmuir’s Academy manager Scott Anderson.
Currie Chieftains: E Maguire; J anderson, A McCall, R Hunter, R Wales; E Crombie, D Mackie; E Maclean, E Gent, B Bowman, A Rhoney, R O’Donnell, J Armsworth, J Hogg, A McCallum Subs O Townsend, J Donaghue, N Robb, C Sayers, M Laidlaw, L Finnie, M Bradshaw.
Biggar: C McCallum; C Brett, R Campbell, M Lean, C Smith; E Laing, A Damer; J McAllister, L Henderson, B Nicol, F Simpson, B McLeish, C Gray, S Taylor, J Smith Subs A Wight, H Robertson, C Yardley, K Millar, A Millar, C Lister, J Tucker.
Boroughmuir: T Frazer; E Lomani, O Carmichael, S Ried, E Taoi; D Murray, C Marjoribanks; H Stevens, K Fieldhouse, R Moloney, D Arthur, M McGlone, F Harrison, P Armstrong, L McConnell Subs L Laverty, D Vodovakarua, L Bruce, R Allan, H Forbes, D Irvine, J Guy.
Stirling County: C Blance; H Wilson, B Yarrow, L McNicol, N Racava; C Beckett, S Sheriff; J Galbraith, J Smith, A Lennox, R Nelson, A MacCormack, D MacDonald, C Lynn, S Clark Subs L Niven, M Comrie, I Smith, G Montenegro, R Deakin, A Whitefield, D Hunter