Finals night thriller at Murrayfield

The Brewin Dolphin under-18 Plate and Shield finals were held in front of a healthy and lively Murrayfield crowd, who were certainly encouraged by the quality of rugby played on the night.

Glenalmond College won the Plate final, running out as 54-10 victors over Gordonstoun School, as Stewart’s Melville College defated Loretto School, 22-14, in the Shield competition.

Stewart's Melville College lift the Brewin Dolphin under-18 Shield

In the first under-18 game of the night, Glenalmond College ran out as comfortable winners in the Plate, breaking the half-century mark on their way to a 54-10 win over Gordonstoun School.

Glenalmond head coach, Huw Thomas, said: “I’m delighted with the way the boys showed-up tonight and especially pleased with the type of rugby we played.

“The team seemed to rise to the occasion and performed much better than we expected.

“They’re a great bunch of boys to be involved with and I’m thrilled for them.

“ All credit to Gordonstoun who really stuck in well and showed a great amount of heart. They never gave up and thoroughly deserved their score towards the end of the game.”

Glenalmond racked up ten tries on their way to victory, three from back-row Gordon Porter, two from lock Max Renouf , one-a-piece for centre’s Dougal Forsyth and Ruairidh Davidson,  with back-rows Aurele Armstrong-Cerfonatine and Duncan Wither, and full-back Paul Ritch scoring the others. Two of the tries were converted by scrum-half Archie Farquharson.

All of Gordonstoun’s points came from inside centre, Dylan Marshall, who scored a late try - which he duly converted – in addition to a first-half penalty.

Stewart's Melville secure Shield

In the latter of the fixtures, Stewart’s Melville won the Shield in a fiercely competitive match against Loretto School.

Despite Stewart’s Melville College leading by 22 points to nil at the break, a late surge from Loretto School in the second-half brought a very tight finish to the game. However, the gulf was too great for Loretto to close as Stewart’s Melville held out for a 22-14 victory.

Stewart’s Melville College head coach, Bryn Lockie, said: “I’m extremely happy for the boys to emerge as Shield winners in what was a highly physical and tight match.

“The victory is extra special for a number of the players as this will be their last game in Stewart’s Melville colours before they leave the school at the end of this year.

“Our back-row were immense tonight, they’re a big powerful unit and created the platform we needed to play our style of rugby.

“We like to focus on playing our rugby using all fifteen men, and I think the way we played as one entity, as opposed to a number of individuals, was what won us the game on the night.”

Both of the Stewart’s Melville College centres Ali Greig and Michael Miller, crossed the whitewash, with man-of-the-match, back-row Fraser Christie scoring the other. Scrum-half Andrew Manson, successfully converted two of the scores, also slotting a penalty early in the second-half.  

Both Loretto’s tries belonged to members of their back-row, Stephen Ainslie and Andrew Grant-Suttie. Centre George Taylor added the extras for each of the tries.

Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools under-18 Plate final, Gordonstoun School v Glenalmond College

Gordonstoun team: Oliver Thornton; Toby Dowdeswell, Alan Hunte, Dylan Marshall, Angus Lawrence; Hugo Maxwell, Cameron Baxter; Joey Dyke, Ignacio Garcio-Maurino Canal, Fraser McKerron, Nikolay Panchenkov, Alex Lowery-English, James McCall Smith, Richard Morgan and Hamilton Burr.

Replacements: Vincent Schwarz, Billy Forsyth, Michael Mku, Jamie Salt, Rob Hornby, Ruari Hobkirk and Edward Brockway.

Glenalmond College: Paul Ritch; Miguel Vidal-Hernandez, Ruairidh Davidson, Ruairidh Leader, Liam Kirkpatrick; Tom Galbraith (captain), Archie Farquharson; Roland Kossler, Angus McCance, Robert Russell, Laurence Smith, Max Renouf, Aurele Armstrong-Cerfontaine, Gordon Porter and Duncan Wither.

Replacements: Fergus Skinner, Dougal Forsyth and Charlie Leckie.

Referee: David Harvey

MOTM: Tom Galbraith (Glenalmond College)

Brewin Dolphin Scottish Schools under-18 Shield final, Stewart’s Melville College v Loretto School

Stewart’s Melville College team: Blair Mcintosh; Cameron Lineen, Ali Greig, Michael Miller, Jamie Batho; Jack Pennell, Andrew Manson; Ross Gordon, Jamie Hamilton, George Harris, Ewan Stewart, Callum Hunter-Hill, Callum Macdonald, Fraser Christie and Hamish Robertson.

Replacements: Aaron Porteous, Conal Henderson, Rupert Duncan, Brendan Scott, Gianpiero  Crolla, Richie Stirling and Finlay Gunn.

Loretto School team: Grant Smith; Alexander Costin, George Taylor, Craig Pringle, Gregory Smart; Richard Taylor, Angus Oatts; Andrew Morgan, Wesley Yip, James Morgan, Maxim Fomichev, Callum Brechin, Andrew Grant-Suttie, Peter Elrick and Stephen Ainslie.

Replacements: Rory Turner, Camran Lindsay, James Montgomery, Christopher Sinclair and Tom Meadows.

Referee: Matt Duncan

MOTM: Fraser Christie (Stewart’s Melville College)