Caithness 6 Preston Lodge 27
Preston Lodge, unbeaten champions of East Regional League Division 1, lifted the RBS Shield at Broadwood Stadium in front of a large and vocal support this afternoon.
The East Lothian team scored four unanswered tries against Caithness, albeit the men from the north defended stoutly for long periods of the game.
Lock forward Blair Cowan, who has been part of Finals Day in the past, PL having won the Bowl in 2008, rated today’s success as a personal highlight.
“It’s not the icing on the cake as we have the opportunity to win our fourth trophy of the season in the East Lothian Cup Final against North Berwick next week,” he explained.
“But as far as celebrations are concerned in my eyes this is probably better than our league win. In the league we had stretched away early on and there was something of an inevitability that we would win.
“We didn’t know much about Caithness and they really defended well today but the way our younger players stuck at it today was special.”
Caithness’ discipline let them down in the first half when they had two players sin-binned: Andy Morris in the 13th minute and Norman Foubister in the 33rd minute, but they played with some spirit throughout, epitomised by a cracking try-saving tackle from their former Scotland under-20 scrum-half Kris Hamilton on the escaping PL win Finlay Hughes in the second half.
Caithness, conquerors of Berwick in the semi-final, opened the scoring with a penalty by their stand-off Liam Brims. PL full-back Graeme Paterson levelled in the sixth minute and converted a penalty try as PL’s scrum wax strong on the 14th minute.
Brims narrowed the gap with his second penalty on the half hour but, by the break, PL’s centres had combined oh so sweetly for Blair Robertson to romp in for their second try, which Paterson converted for a 17-6 advantage.
Into the second period and PL with No 8 Paul Voy, a worthy winner of Man of the Match, leading the charge with some belligerent pick and goes, added two tries. Voy vindicated a penalty to touch with a rousing conclusion to a lineout catch and drive and then scrum-half Dale Gordon (pictured above) sniped over from close-range after his forwards had again set up the platform.
Caithness: Blair McIntosh; Graham Fryer, Marc Anderson, Norman Foubister, Gordon Macleod; Liam Brims, Kris Hamilton; Colin Smith, Michael Duffy, Roddy Gray, Grant Anderson, Andy Morris, Reece Coghill, Evan Sutherland and Steven Campbell captain. Subs: Pete Healey, John Miller, Mark Nicolson, Stuart McIntosh, Scott Webster, Douglas Webster and Danny Gordon
Preston Lodge: Graeme Paterson; Finlay Hughes, Chris Thomas, Blair Robertson, Paul Glynn; Andrew Clark, Dale Gordon; Darren Eales, Peter Johnstone, Scott Rodgers, Bruce Stoddart, Blair Cowan, Jason Riley, Paul Voy and Chris Dixon. Subs: Jonny Sked, Euan Higgins, Paul Dixon, Jonathon Brash, Raymond Mackie, Stuart Mclean and David Lockie.
Referee: Daniel Shaw.