Grand National Derby Day for Capital Combatants

A top-of-the-table clash and Edinburgh derby saw Boroughmuir – unbeaten in the National league at the start of the game – host Watsonians at Meggetland this afternoon.


With the car park full a good 45 minutes before kick-off, an expectant crowd saw the home side take charge early on forcing a penalty in the opening minutes, David Reekie easing it between the uprights to put Boroughmuir 3-0 ahead.

‘Muir dominated the run of play, albeit punctuated with a number of scrums deemed unsatisfactory to Italian exchange referee, Emanuele Tomo, with Watsonians duly penalised to the point of McKean leaving the field with a yellow card.

With the opposition down to 14 men, Borougmuir seized their chance, worked the ball out wide and great hands down the line resulted in a try for stand-off David Reekie, by the posts (8-0), the conversion attempt coming up short.

‘Muir continued to make use of the man advantage with heroics from fullback Craig Marshall [pictured] as he battled through the opposition defence, forcing a lineout 5m from the Watsonians line.

As the visitors returned to full strength, it was scrum half Sam Johnson who seized his chance to cross for Boroughmuir: the conversion pinged back off the uprights to extend Boroughmuir’s lead to 13-0.

It was over twently minutes into the half before Watsonians seemed to get a measure of the opposition with a ship into the corner for a lineout 5m from the hosts’ line, no 8 Chris Scott making the yards and forcing the home side to make mistakes. Stand-off Mike Ker stepped up to take the penalty, making it 13-3 after 25 minutes.

As the first half drew to a close, things were more evenly balanced as Watsonians began to exert their authority and look more comfortable in attack and defence.

Scotland under-20 and Edinburgh Rugby EDP Neil Irvine Hess duly popped the ball to lock Mark Rennie who stretched his frame to cross the line. Mike Ker duly converted to make it 13-10. Despite a lineout steal and mounting pressure from Watsonians, they wasted the opportunity to add to their points by getting penalised for not releasing and the half ended 13-10 to the home side.

After a cracking half-time display of mini rugby by the P6 & 7 teams from both sides, the second half kicked off with renewed urgency. A well-executed pick and go steal up the wing for ‘Muir fullback Craig Marshall roused the crowd and saw him dot down to extend the home side’s lead to 25-10.

Playing out in a similar fashion to the first half, Watsonians began to come back into the game with a burst from winger Ramsay Young which saw him scoring in the top corner, the conversion from Mike Ker closing the gap to 25-17.

Further chances for Watsonians were squandered in the next phases of play by some indecision and wild kicking. Opting to kick for a penalty – Boroughmuir’s Scott yellow carded for a high tackle – from halfway, the attempt came up short but drew appreciative noises form the crowd for Watsonians’efforts.

With five minutes to go, a pick and go from the scrum for Watsonians saw centre Scott McKean scores in the top corner, the missed conversion keeping the home side 25-22 ahead. A solid lineout for the visitors then piled pressure on Boroughmuir, forcing turnover ball and winning Watsonians the penalty, Mike Ker delivering to level the score at 25-all with a minute on the clock.

There was a sense of inevitability about the remaining sixty seconds, despite Watsonians’ best efforts, as the home side played to the terracing with a spectacular break by Wilson to cross just shy of the posts. The conversion from Reekie sealed the deal, on the whistle, to make the final score 32-25.

Boroughmuir: Marshall , Cairns , Cox, Clapperton, Edmunds, Reekie, Johnson; R Wilson, Davies, Latta, Scott, Sutton, Hare, Rodger, Rose. Subs: Taylor, Wallace, Docherty, Johnstone,  S Wilson

Watsonians: Steele, Young, McKean, Aitken, Ferguson, Kerr, Page, Christie, Brierley;  Moussa, Rennie, Poole, Irvine Hess, Miller, Dennis. Subs: Ross, Forrester, Smith, Di Rollo, Hart