Top Marks For Fettes In Schools Cup Final

Fettes College edged out Stewart’s Melville College 28-39 in a dramatic nine-try under-18 Bell Lawrie Scottish School’s Cup Final tonight in front of a vociferous 5152 crowd on the international pitch at Murrayfield tonight.

An unconverted try and two penalties gave Stewart’s-Melville the perfect platform early in the half however a Kit Gammell inspired fight-back saw Fettes leading at the break.

After half-time both teams came out all guns blazing with Fettes taking the initiative with three early tries. Despite an emphatic two-try Stewart’s-Melville fight-back, Fettes held on to their lead, scoring a last minute try to take the title for the first time in the school's history.

Fettes College edged out Stewart’s Melville College in a dramatic nine-try under-18 Bell Lawrie Scottish School’s Cup Final tonight in front of a vociferous 5152 crowd.

An unconverted try and two penalties gave Stewart’s-Melville the perfect platform early in the half however a Kit Gammell inspired fight-back saw Fettes leading at the break.

After half-time both teams came out all guns blazing with Fettes taking the initiative with three early tries. Despite an emphatic two-try Stewart’s-Melville fight-back, Fettes held on to their lead, scoring a last minute to try to seal the victory.

It took just four minutes for the 2006 champions to get on the scoreboard with a well worked try which started out on the near side of the Fettes 22.

The Stewart’s-Melville backs spun the ball wide with ease finding full-back Rory Paterson who dove over for the score.

Wing Scott Cook failed to add the extras from the edge but soon made amends with two penalty kicks – the first an excellent effort from distance, the second a fortunate miss-hit which ricocheted off the inside of the post and fell through the sticks,11-0.

Twenty-two minutes into the half Fettes got their first points on the board when Kit Gammell slotted a penalty moments before becoming the story of the half.

Magnificent play from the fly-half saw him chip ahead and collect his own kick off the bounce to race through for a try.

Gammell then converted his own score to put Fettes right back in the game, 11-10.

Stewart’s-Melville then suffered a blow as the prolific outside-centre Sean Murchie was forced off with a leg injury and replaced by Andy Wilson.

With the game now running at a tremendous pace Fettes were presented with an opportunity to kick their way into the lead with less than 10 minutes left in the half.

After kicking for (and making) touch, the Fettes forwards opted for the short lineout and drove for the line, piling over for the score with number 8 Mark Agnew dotting down an unconverted effort which put Fettes in the lead for the first time and 11-15 to the good at the interval.

Half time: 11-15

After the break Fettes started the half well, spinning the ball wide and keeping Stewart’s-Melville pinned back with a series of big possession kicks from wing Ryan Black before getting their first score of the half.

Lively Fettes scrum-half Sam Hunt needed only an inch of space to catch out the Stewart’s-Melville defence, breaking the gap and out sprinting the chasing full-back for an unconverted try however the long range boot of Cook dampened the celebrations and brought Stewart’s-Melville back within a score, 14-20.

After giving Fettes the lead, first-half hero Gammell stretched the lead in the second.

The influential 10 seized possession just inside Stewart’s-Melville territory and sprinted to score under the posts.

Gammell then converted his own try for the second time in the evening before full-back Rory Daly added another score to the team’s taly when he crossed the whitewash between the posts with a excellent burst of pace – Gammell converted to extend the Fettes lead to a convincing 14-34.

With 20 minutes left on the clock the game looked out of reach but the boys in red refused to give in and responded with great heart, putting tremendous pressure on the Fettes defence and scoring two converted tries through prop George Turner and lock Craig O’Donnell to put the game back within reach, 28-34.

Stewart’s-Melville had the crowd on their feet for the remainder of the half, refusing to lie down and forcing themselves upon Fettes, making incredible breaks and crashing against a seemingly exhausted Fettes defence.

However Fettes remained resilient and fought their way back into the battle weary Stewart’s-Melville half, creating the opportunity for Giffin to score an unconverted try that sealed the dramatic victory in the last minute.

Final score: 28-39

Bell Lawrie Scottish Schools Cup under-18 final teams

Stewart’s Melville College under-18
15
Rory Paterson

14 Scott Cook
13 Sean Murchie
12 Michael Crawley (Scotland under-17)
11 Michael Doneghan (Scotland under-18)

10 Ross Grant (Edinburgh under-18)
9 Gavin Milne (Edinburgh under-18)

1 Max Campbell (Edinburgh under-16)
2 Stewart Shaw (CAPTAIN) (Edinburgh under-18)
3 George Turner (Edinburgh under-17)
4 Rory MacLeod
5 Craig O’Donnell
6 Nicholas McGlinchey
8 Jordan Kynoch (Edinburgh under-18)
7 Ben Johnstone (Edinburgh under-17)

Substitutes
16 Frasier Napier
17 John Campbell
18 James Dickson
19 Andrew Wilson
20 Gregor Porteous
21 Ruari Cannon
22 Max Batchelor

Fettes College under-18
15 Rory Daly

14 Ryan Black
13 Jack Greer
12 Stuart Daly (Edinburgh under-18)
11 Chris Giffin

10 Kit Gammell
9 Sam Hunt

1 Ross Turner (CAPTAIN) (Scotland under-18)
2 Sam Cooper
3 Ben McDonald
4 Ben Morrison
5 Joe Grant
6 Peter Chamberlain
8 Mark Agnew (Edinburgh under-18)
7 Chris Graves

Substitutes
16 Mark Birrell
17 Hamish Hay
18 Stuairt Tosh
19 Phil Bell
20 Murdo Armstrong
21 Corrado Biagi

The Bell Lawrie Scottish School’s Cup final will take place on Wednesday 18 March at Murrayfield stadium – admission is free
Under-15: Edinburgh Academicals v George Watson’s College (kick-off 6pm)
Under-18: Stewart’s Melville College v Fettes College (kick-off 7.30pm)

Competition information
• Entries for the 2008/2009 Bell Lawrie Scottish Schools Cup have set another new record with 35 more teams entering Scottish Rugby’s flagship schools competition than ever before
• The tournament has broken entry records for the past three consecutive years with the total number of competing teams soaring from 184 in 2006/2007 to 244 in 2008/2009 – a massive 33% increase
• Investment manager Bell Lawrie, due to re-brand as Brewin Dolphin next month, is to extend its sponsorship of the Scottish Schools Cup to include a girls’ competition
• The new three-year deal will see the partnership with Scottish Rugby extended until 2012 and will adopt the new title ‘The Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools Cup’
 
The National Midi and Youth Cup Finals, which sees the best young club rugby talent go head to head, will take place on the Murrayfield main pitch on Sunday 29 March and Saturday 25 April respectively

National midi finals
Under-15 girls: (Gala RFC or Atholl RFC/ Breadalbane Academy) v (Carrick Academy or Aboyne/Banchory Academies) (kick-off 12 noon)
Under-15: Ayr v Stirling County (kick-off 1.30pm)
Under-16: Musselburgh v Dumfries (3pm)

The under-18 National Youth Cup final (boys and girls) will take place on the international pitch at Murrayfield on Saturday 25 April
Under-18 girls
: Murrayfield Wanderers v (Aboyne/Banchory Academies or Cumnock RFC)
Under-18 boys: Currie Colts v Stirling County (kick-off 7.30pm)