Lions Roar At Fantastic Midi Finals Day

The Stew Mel Lions lifted both the S1 and S2 trophies today at National Midi Finals Day before Boroughmuir won the under-15 competition and Stirling County triumphed in the nail-biting under-16 final to lift the Cup, as all four matches were played out on the international pitch at Murrayfield. Scottish Rugby President Andy Irvine, who presented the trophy to the successful Stirling County U16 team, added: “The rugby on display today was absolutely brilliant. The under-16 final between Gala Red Triangle and Stirling County was the best games of rugby I’ve seen in a while, it was magnificent. Well done to all the coaches and players involved.” The Stew Mel Lions lifted both the S1 and S2 trophies today at National Midi Finals Day before Boroughmuir won the under-15 competition and Stirling County triumphed in the nail-biting under-16 final to lift the Cup, as all four matches were played out on the international pitch at Murrayfield.

Scottish Rugby Head of Community Rugby Colin Thomson said: “Congratulation to all the participating teams, especially the winners Stew Mel Lions, Boroughmuir and Stirling County. We’ve seen four excellent and highly competitive finals here today.

“The atmosphere around the stadium has been fantastic and it bodes well for the future of rugby in Scotland. Hopefully we’ll see these players go on to play in our senior Youth League Cup and perhaps back here at Murrayfield one day in the blue jersey of Scotland,” he added.

Scottish Rugby President Andy Irvine, who presented the trophy to the successful Stirling County U16 team, added: “The rugby on display today was absolutely brilliant. The under-16 final between Gala Red Triangle and Stirling County was the best games of rugby I’ve seen in a while, it was magnificent. Well done to all the coaches and players involved.”

The under-16 final kicked off in fine style with both sides appearing to be evenly matched. All that separated the teams after fifteen minutes were two well struck penalties from Gala Red Triangle stand-off Gregor Hunter for a 6-0 lead. Stirling County continually pressed the Border side but Gala’s defence refused to falter until inside centre Danny Gilmour slipped through to score in the corner to make it 6-5.

Stirling’s superb ability to offload from the tackle and strong running gave them the lead as innumerable phases saw the ball worked up and across the field before winger Gavin Denham crossed for 10-6. However, the lead was short lived as Gala scrum-half Craig Robertson slipped through to go under the posts, giving Hunter an easy conversion for 13-10 just before half time.

County replied early in the second half as Gilmour bagged his brace to once again put his side in the lead at 15-13. They forged ahead as their superb handling paid off once again to put replacement Stewart Hiddleston over fifteen minutes into the second half. Stand-off Stuart Edwards converted for a 22-13 lead but Stirling’s advantage was narrowed as Gala’s Hunter slotted a penalty to bring the sides back to 22-16.

The scoring continued as the game reached an electric pace. Gala hooker Ewan McQuillin rumbled down the touchline and in at the corner to bring his side within a point at 22-21 with just fifteen minutes remaining. County then edged ahead with a penalty from stand-off Edwards for 25-21 but hard as they tried Gala couldn’t come back so the score remained.

Gilmour was presented with the man of the match trophy by Scotland and Border Reivers centre Ben MacDougall before Edwards was handed the trophy by President Andy Irvine.

In the under-15 final, early pressure from Boroughmuir over Glasgow Hawks was finally rewarded with a try in the corner for lock Michael Scott, following several phases, for a 5-0 lead. Hawks tried to come back but Boroughmuir edged further ahead as prop Chris Scott gathered out wide on the left to go over for 10-0.

The ‘Muir began to really settle in as speedy centre Cameron Dearden rounded four players to crash in at the corner for a fantastic solo try and a 15-0 lead. The scoring continued as winger Cameron Roscoe collected full-back Ross Peacock’s pass to score in the corner. This time stand-off Rory Scott nailed the wide conversion for a 22-0 advantage.
A well worked line-out move brought try number five as No 8 Matt Walker peeled off for another corner score to go 27-0 up. Hawks came within inches with the final play of the first half but Boroughmuir’s defence was as strong as their attack.

Hawks managed to cross midway through the second half as inside centre Rory Taylor dived over for 27-5 before winger Quintin Liao found the line to spark hopes of a late comeback at 27-10. Robbie Nicholson’s try, coupled with Patrick Bell’s conversion, ignited those hopes as Hawks came within 10 points at 27-17. However, Boroughmuir killed it off with a final try from prop Scott for 32-17. Man of the match was awarded to ‘Muir’s centre Cameron Dearden before captain Ross Peacock collected the trophy.

Stew Mel Lions faced Stirling County in the S2 final on the main pitch as the Inverleith outfit got off to a perfect start as they maximised on a Stirling mistake. As a misdirected pass hit the deck, Lions’ inside centre Jack Hannay nudged it on between the posts. He looked almost certain to score but a Stirling player held him back, forcing the penalty try. Flanker Alex Hagart converted for a 4-0 lead (three points for a try, one point for a conversion).

Hagart touched down himself before half time as Stew Mel launched another assault on the County line to go 7-0. Stirling came back in the second half as a quickly taken short-range tap penalty was fed to lock Jamie Bhatti who crashed over to bring his side back to 7-3 down.
Stirling had a chance to draw level as winger Matthew Lamb hared off down the line from his own 22. He made it to the Lions’ 22 before covering full-back Munro Basianelli took him down with a great tackle. Stirling continued to harass the Lions but the score stayed and Hagart was named man of the match before captain Ross McPhail lifted the silverware.

The same teams lined up for the S1 finals as Stew Mel Lions set the tone early on with a crunching tackle from No 8 Michael Bunker while playmaker Colin Dalgleish continuously looked to open up the game with some well thrown wide passes to his speedy outfielders. The first try came just two minutes in as outside centre Rory Cook pinned his ears back and headed for the line from 40 yards out. He danced his way through, evading tackles before touching down for a superb solo try for 3-0.

The Lions’ lead was doubled as Stew Mel worked their way into the Stirling half following the turn around. Their dedication paid off as prop Justin Duncan was bundled in at the corner for 6-0. Stirling worked hard to come back but it wasn’t to be. Scotland Club international Ben Fisher declared Lions’ winger Cameron Gibson man of the match before the trophy was presented to captain and try scorer Justin Duncan.

The S1 competition kicked off earlier in the day as Mackie Academy beat Berwick 8-4 in the opening quarter-final match this morning. Mackie were joined in the semis by Stew Mel Lions, who beat GHA 15-3, Stirling Country, 26-0 winners over Currie, and Gala Red Triangle, following their 11-6 victory over Glasgow Hawks.

The semi finals saw Mackie go down 7-0 to Stew Mel and Stirling triumph 12-0 over Gala Red Triangle. The quarter-final runners up played off for the Shield as Berwick beat GHA 19-0 and Hawks triumphed 14-0 over Currie in the semis. Hawks repeated that score in the final on the back pitches, seeing off Berwick to lift the silverware.

In the S2 quarter-finals Aberdeen Grammar beat Hawick Albion 11-0, Stew Mel triumphed 12-0 over West of Scotland, Stirling County were victorious 6-3 over Heriot’s and Melrose won 4-0 over Dalziel.

Stew Mel then went on to win 11-6 over Grammar as Stirling beat Melrose 12-7 in the semis. In the Shield, Hawick and West of Scotland drew 0-0 after 20 minutes of play so West were declared winner with a toss of the coin, as per S2 age-group rules. Heriot’s and Dalziel also drew but this time 4-4 with Dalziel scoring first to be announced winners. In the final, Dalziel triumphed 6-3 to lift the Shield.

FINALS TEAMS

S1 STEW MEL LIONS: Rory Fenn; Cameron Gibson, Rory Cook, Rory Warnock, Adam Greig; Colin Dalgleish, Chris Gilfillan; Tristan Johnston, Ruaridh Stewart, Justin Duncan, Jerome Knowles, Joe Jones, Michael Bunker
Substitutes: Chris Aird, Niko Dafereras, Elliot Kipling, James Murchison, Ross Armstrong, Jamie Crerar, Struan Kerr, Isaac Miller

S1 STIRLING COUNTY: Stephen Gillies; Cameron Buist, Adam Tunaley, Jack Urquhart, Brodie Clark; Tom Gilbride, Mathew Johnston; Lochie Walters, Scott Cubitt, Ross Murray, Joel Fuentes, Shaun Macdonald, Chris Arnold
Substitutes: Kyle Adam, Cameron Cunningham, Martin McKenzie, Callum Sharp, Andrew Wales, Callum Worsley, Gregor Anderson, Lawrence Miller, Edward Waller

S2 STEW MEL LIONS: Munro Bastianelli; Fraser Bastianelli, David St Clair, Jack Hannay, Ewen Chisholm; Henry Edwards, Charlie Taylor; Max Campbell, Chris Halliday, Hugh Lindsay, Ross Burnett, Andrew St Clair, Alex Hagart, Ross McPhail
Substitutes: Guy Dalziel, Patrick Heaton-Armstrong, Gavin Chapman, Jamie Davidson, Timothy Ferguson, William Dobbie, Ben Osifodunrin

S2 STIRLING COUNTY: Adam Deardon; Mattew Lamb, Adam Sinclair, Thomas Hornall, Joe Malcolm; Fraser Christie, Matthew Stevenson; Adam Innes, Joe Pews, Kyle Miller, Colin Hutton, Jamie Bhatti, Grant Blair, Robert Tolson
Substitutes: George Douglas, Connor McCrory, William Vernon, Harry Cordiner, Chris Duncan, Ruairidh Leishman, Oliver Zaldua, Oliver Kitchen

BOROUGHMUIR U15: Ross Peacock; Callum Brockie, Cameron Dearden, Andrew Whitelaw, Cameron Roscoe; Rory Scott, Murray McLeod; Jordan Doyle, Nick Martin, Chris Scott, William Kay, Michael Scott, Stuart Smith, Adam De Ste Croix, Matt Walker
Substitutes: Alan Eley, Chris Mengham, Finlay Young, Ross Hunter, Graham Hepburn, Ross Buchanan

GLASGOW HAWKS U15: Jonathan Byrne-Leitch; Finn Campbell-Young, Aidan McCall-Hagan, Rory Taylor, Quintin Liao; Patrick Bell, Rory Henderson; Iain Parry, Cameron Crozier, Stephen Dickson, Elliot Connell, Chris Rhodes, Rory Stewart, Jamie Swanson, Sean McAlindon
Substitutes from: Jamie Yacoubian, Andy Homer, Ross MacFarlane, Scott Fraser, Robbie Nicholson, Robbie Hirst, Tom Cahan, Max Martin, David Eadie, Jack McDougall, Kenneth McGowan, Graham Robertson, Zak Small

GALA RED TRIANGLE U16: Gavin Young; Andrew Gould, Jamie Livingston, Ian Millar, Ian Dawtry; Gregor Hunter, Craig Robertson; Barry Brown, Ewan McQuillin, Ross Aitchison, Ian Robertson, Gavin Robertson, Mathew Darling, Craig Pearson, Fraser Robertson
Substitutes: Daniel Whitehead, Glen Hunter, Ruaridh Gillespie, Jamie Millar, Neale Lees, Craig Dods, Callum Murray

STIRLING COUNTY U16: Glen Bryce; Gavin Denham, Fraser Smith, Danny Gilmour, Gavin Breen; Stuart Edwards, Andrew Parker; Nicky Faill, Cameron Turnbull, Graeme Simpson, Grant Smith, Angus Williamson, Robbie Boswell, Andrew Ritchie, Stewart McCulloch
Substitutes: Stewart Hiddleston, Greg Marshalsey, Jamie Spray, Alan Bennie, Euan Laverty, Daryn Smith, Ross Kinnear