National Development League side Broughton pulled off the Cup shock of the season so far by knocking out National 1 side Morgan 05-17 in Dundee.
Broughton travelled to Dundee for their first ‘official competitive fixture’ since forming last summer against a National 1 Morgan side who had scored almost 200 points in their previous two outings.
With the Losers already confirmed as Plate Finalists come the 9th May, it was never in the Broughton game plan to play for 2nd best and with a squad of 17 to choose from, Head Coach Marius Briedenhann only had sights on a Semi Showdown with Melrose.
The home side looked light on numbers in the warm up and with the assistance of Dual Registered players from Premier League side Kirkcaldy, the match started 14-a-side to accommodate.
The early exchanges saw both sides take a while to get their engines running in what was becoming a fairly warm afternoon in the City of Discovery.
Kinghorn was the first to put pressure on the home side with a speculative ‘Garryowen’ which dropped behind the Morgan full-back but failed to bounce the right way as Soiluva ran on to try and collect.
Sadly the next Kinghorn kick wasn’t as successful and it was charged down and collected by the young Morgan Centre who ran in from the half way line. Fortunately for the visitors, the drop kick was missed. 5-0.
It didn’t take long for the NDL based Broughton side to get on the scoreboard and it was that girl Kinghorn at the heart of the move. Morgan were making another push towards the Broughton half however the ball was lost in contact. The Scottish Academy player reacted quickest and a change of direction open up a space of Soiluva and the flying-Finn pinned back the ears to evade three despairing tackles to run in under the posts. Kinghorn obliged by adding the extras. 5-7.
The home side had a fantastic chance to regain the lead when a break from the winger carved open the Broughton back line however with a 3 man overlap, the player went for the glory only to be brought crashing to the ground by the backtracking Soiluva.
Every game has it’s turning point and perhaps it was the incident in the 30th minute which may have knocked some of the wind out of the Morgan sails. A break from inside the Broughton 22 saw the Morgan centre run in for what looked like a certain try however the eagle-eyed Referee spotted a knock-on as the player went to put the ball down for a score.
Half-Time: Morgan WRFC 5 - 7 Broughton WRFC
With the sun beating down and the players having huffed and puffed around the big playing surface, the second half was guaranteed to open up as both teams would certainly start to tire.
One player who was full of running was Broughton’s Coombs who, in the 43rd minute made a lightning break straight through the heart of the Morgan defence. Unfortunately the legs couldn’t quite carry her as far as the home whitewash however terrific support play by Heard finally found McFarlane in space to effectively fall over the line. 5-12.
Newcomer Neill was unlucky with a lung bursting break in the 54th minute as Broughton turned defence to attack before being thwarted on the Morgan 10 metre line.
Broughton were once again on the back foot on the hour as Morgan looked to get back on level terms however staunch defending once again saw the Capital outfit brave the storm as they succeeded in holding the Morgan attack up over the line. From the resultant scrum, Broughton’s Canadian hooker Eisner won the ball against the head and Kinghorn cleared.
With the game heading into the final 10 minutes, both teams were very much still capable of winning this cup clash however once the home side were forced into a drop in numbers due to an injury to one of their players the task became tougher for the Dundonians.
The Cup Shock of the season so far was sealed in the 73rd minute when Coombs pushed the ball out to the awaiting Kinghorn at the back of a Broughton scrum 10 metres out from the home try line. With an arc movement around the back of the scrum, Kinghorn found herself in acres of space to run in for a match winning try and to set up a Cup Semi Final against Melrose.
A sound team performance from all including recognised performances from McFarlane (Morgan's nomination for Player of the Day) Chowaniec and Smith as the Broughton Players of the Day. Also appearing in the habitual ritual of pint downing was newcomer Neill who played her first game of rugby ever today!
Final Score: Morgan WRFC 5 – 17 Broughton