Match Report: Boys National Youth Cup Finals
U16 Shield: Kelso v Hawick
Kelso had the better of the opening exchanges in a DAM Health Stadium glowing in the Edinburgh sun, and Murray Jackson opened the scoring after eight minutes, with a clever dummy at the bottom of a ruck right on the Hawick line giving him a gap to dive through.
And just three minutes later Kelso scored a second. A lovely move in midfield involving Ben Burton and his two centres led to captain Fraser Murray getting the ball returned to him in space, and he splashed over in front of the Murrayfield stand.
Andrew Lawson was next to dive over the line in the 26th minute, this time picking up the ball in midfield with a clear line to the posts in front of him.
And Murray bagged a second in the 31st minute, finishing off another slick backs move after a scrum just inside the Hawick 22.
Hawick got themselves on the scoreboard with the last play of the half. The ball was worked out to the right wing, then back towards the middle with Fraser Casson finishing off an excellent attack. Stuart Delaney added the extra two to end the first half scoring.
Half time: Kelso 26 Hawick 7
Hawick pushed to catch up, and in the 46th minute after the forwards had pushed hard at the line, it was eventually grounded by James Ross in the left corner.
But Kelso regained their three-try lead three minutes later as they scored under the posts.
And they had a sixth try in the 52nd minute, with the gargantuan boot of Murray Jackson earning them a 50:22 and the strength of Dale Adams getting him to the line.
Adams then bagged his second in the 60th minute, after Kelso worked the ball from the left corner over to just right of the posts where the prop battered his way over.
The Hawick pack looked organised and dangerous in the driving maul, and it got them a third score in the 64th minute, with Jack Brown the one to ground the ball.
The scoring was rounded off for Kelso in the 67th minute, with their lively backs showing their prowess again to create a hat-trick score for Murray.
But Hawick showed their resilience to the end, as Diarmuid McGuinness powered over for the final score of the contest.
Full time: Kelso 50 Hawick 24
Player of the match: Ben Burton, Kelso
15. Riley Muir 14. Robbie Jack 13. Hughes 12. Filip Kubicki CAPTAIN 11. Jardine Vevers 10. Stuart Delaney 9. Robbie Landles 1. Aiden Cannon 2. Jack Brown 3. Connor Crawley 4. Harley Bryson 5. Ryan Muir 6. Arran Common 7. James Ross 8. Fraser Casson
Replacements: 16. Joseph Casson 17 Damian Wargaki 18 Diarmuid McGuinness 19 Kaelum Wilson 20 Struan Hardie 21 Zac Stewart 22 Connor McLeod
15. Murray Jackson 14. Sam Grainger 13. Andrew Lawson 12. Fraser Murray CAPTAIN 11. Lewis Malone 10. Ben Burton 9. Blair Patterson 1. Lucas Ashby 2. Kyle Jackson 3. Dale Adams 4. Connor Gibb 5. Roan Morgan 6. Angus Milne 7. James Stewart 8. Jack Utterson
Replacements: 16. Shane Dalgliesh 17. John Duncan 18. Drew Borland 19. James Stewart 20. Matthew Stewart 21. Ben Macrae 22. Sean Mcglasson
U16 Cup Final: Stirling County v GHA
In the Boys U16 Youth Cup Final, the opening half saw possession of the ball switch between Stirling County and GHA several times as both teams fought it out for the opening score, displaying exceptional amounts of talent between them.
Stirling County’s scrum half, Tom Nodes, got the score board running as he successfully converted a penalty.
And just moments later, GHA responded as John Collins, pushed through the red, white and black jerseys to score the first try of the match, that was followed by an easy conversion from Matt Inglis.
On the 22nd minute of play, Stirling Country conceived their second try, this time made by the captain and loosehead prop, Mickey Kesson, and showed an impressive conversion from scrum-half, Tom Nodes.
After several minutes of entertaining play, GHA was back up the pitch placing the ball down on Stirling County’s whitewash as their captain Nicolas Thompson scores besides the posts, allowing kicker Matt Inglis to convert the ball.
Minutes before the first half concluded, Stirling County kicked the ball out within five metres of GHA’s try line, the line-out resulted with Stirling Country’s captain, Mickey Kesson, scoring again whilst Tom Node’s was a hand to add a further two points on.
Half time: Stirling County 15 GHA 14
As the first half ended with only one point between them, it took some time for the first score to come in the second half, but a cross field kick from GHA’s centre, Ethan Jack over to Andrew Campbell, left a gap wide open for the left-winger to score.
A relentless ten minutes of play within GHA’s five metres line, thought Stirling County was insight of a try, but unfortunately GHA showed their strength to push them back and re-gained possession.
Not as action packed as the first half, but both teams fought to the end and had no one guessing who was to come out on top, it was then GHA who lifted the Boys U16 Youth Cup trophy.
Full time: Stirling County 15 GHA 19
Player of the Match: Nicholas Thompson, GHA
15. Josh Geddes14. Kieran Robinson13. Oliver McKenna 12. Nicholas Thompson CAPTAIN 11. Andrew Campbell 10. Ethan Jack 9. Matt Inglis 1. Findlay Wheeler 2. Brandon Carson 3. Leo McCusker 4. John Collins 5. Cooper Todd 6. Marc Darroch 7. Alexander Wilson 8. Felix Lonergan-Black
Replacements: 16. Christopher Douglas 17. Rannoch Muir 18. Joshua McGrory 19. Jacob Brown 20. Oliver Heaney 21. Ewan Spence 22. James Pollock
15. Fraser Dempsey 14. Andrew Lawrence 13.Ellis Anderson 12. Hamish McKay 11. Rory McDonald 10.Baille McGinley 9. Tom Nodes 1. Jaymie Shelvock 2. Morgan Wicks 3. Mickey Kesson CAPTAIN 4. Tom McCulloch 5. Scott MacCallum 6. Harry Blackie 7. Kieran Mooney 8. Logan Gray
Replacements: 16. Ross McKay 17. Fraser Appleby 18. Douglas Morrison 19. Fraser Cadell 20.Ale Crivelli 21. Alasdair Banks 22. Eoin O’Cinneide
U18 Shield: Melrose Wasps v Gala Wanderers
Gala started the stronger and were rewarded after a succession of penalties when Adam Roberson fought his way over the whitewash from close range.
Melrose then levelled proceedings in the 15th minute, after a penalty was kicked to the corner and a driving maul took Callum Clarke over the line.
A tight, physical contest swayed one way and the other throughout the half, with plenty of high-quality rugby on display despite the small number of scores.
Gala thought they had a second score in the 31st minute, but it was unluckily spilled forward on the line.
Half time: Melrose Wasps 5 Gala Wanderers 5
It was Melrose who came out the stronger in the second half, and they took the lead in the 39th minute. Fly half Luke Townsend found a great line through a gap in the Gala defence, stepped the full back and swan-dived over before converting the score himself.
Melrose won a penalty in front of the posts in the 46th minute as Gala were caught offside, and Townsend dispatched it through the posts from 35 yards.
Gala fought back and had their second try two minutes later. Kerr Johnston used his footwork to put the defenders on their heels and raced into the left corner. Russell Kerr brilliantly slotted the kick from the touchline to reduce the deficit to three.
And Wanderers regained the lead in the 58th minute. After several phases in the Melrose 22, Ben Young showed his strength to burrow over from close range.
Melrose had a chance to grab the lead back as Townsend kicked another penalty at goal, but this time it missed short and right.
But in the 65th minute Townsend was presented with an easier chance, and he duly converted it to give Melrose a one-point advantage.
In a fantastic contest Gala took the lead back in the 68th minute, when James Glendinning used his feet to create space to dive over after driving maul.
And that was how it ended, an incredible game of rugby going Gala Wanderers’ way.
Full time: Melrose Wasps 18 Gala Wanderers 22
Player of the match: James Glendinning, Gala Wanderers
15. Matthew Gaston 14. Chris Carter 13. Cameron Robertson 12. Matthew Flannigan 11. Morgan Oliver 10. Luke Townsend CAPTAIN 9. Oliver Duguid 1. Robbie Robinson 2. Andrew Kirk 3. Hamish Derrick 4. Arran Kennedy 5. Ben Weir 6. Robbie Gunn 7. Callum Clarke 8. Dylan Cockburn
Replacements: 16. Dylan Oliver 17. Rory Litster 18. Thomas Shiel 19. Oliver Scott 20. Lochlan Rowley 21. McKenzie Power 22. Joshua Wilson
15. Ritchie Mitchell 14. Ciaran Corcoran 13. Kerr Johnston 12. Jack Niven 11. Gregor Collins 10. Russell Kerr 9. Louis Marshal-Arrandale 1. Ben Young 2. James Glendinning 3. Adam Roberson 4. Jordan Corry 5. Fraser Wilson 6. Sam Smith 7. Mathew Vitrano CAPTAIN 8. Douglas Weir
Replacements: 16. Doddie Turner 17. Kasper Korlaga 18. Jon Mclean 19. Aaron Mclaren 20. Calum Marshall 21. Dougray Seggie 22. Logan Kerr
U18 Cup: Boroughmuir v West of Scotland
It only took two minutes for Boroughmuir to kick off the scoring in the Boys U18 Cup Final at BT Murrayfield, as Liam McConnell scored the opening try, with Greg Anderson adding the extras. A lovely start to the reining champions' campaign.
Shortly after, Anderson added another three points with a penalty kick taken from close to half way.
But West of Scotland’s response was strong, as moments later Patrick Spence found a gap between the green and blue shirts to score, followed with Charlie Greaves converting the ball between the sticks (10-7).
Both teams fought relentlessly to maintain possession, but it was Boroughmuir who bagged a second try at the 18th minute as winger Nick Adler scurried his way up the international pitch. Anderson's boot saw the ball safely over the posts for another 2 points.
At the 28th minute, West of Scotland’s captain, Kerr Yule, showed what he was made of after scoring their second try of the first half, with Charlie Greaves at hand to add on the extra points.
As the clock wound down towards the half time whistle, West of Scotland managed to level the score board to 17-17 with a successful penalty kick at the posts, from Charlie Greaves.
Nail-biting stuff at BT Murrayfield, the crowd eagerly awaited the second half.
Half time: Boroughmuir 17 West of Scotland 17
Boroughmuir and West were both determined to be the side to take the lead in the second half, as the game shaped up to be a truly physical contest. It took almost 15 minutes for a score to be added to the board, which was a mark of the incredible defensive efforts from both sides.
The crowds erupted as Boroughmuir's Ozzy Canakaivata crossed the line following a series of passes up the pitch from the back line. Another outstanding kick at posts from Anderson saw Boroughmuir take the lead, 24-17.
West of Scotland’s response was strong, and very quickly the boys in yellow and red found themselves deep in their opposition's 22. A strong running line from Yule saw the West captain score his second try of the match. Greave added to his streak of successful conversions taking the score to 24-24.
The teams were now once again, neck and neck, but this time there was five minutes left of the clock, and the Cup title was truly on the line for both sides.
Just three minutes later, an ever determined Boroughmuir looked as through they might be in with a chance of another try, and ultimately seal their fate as the Cup winners, but West of Scotland’s pack ensured the ball was held up, and the score remained settled at 24-24.
Tension was building within the crowd at BT Murrayfield, could someone bag an extra try and claim the win or would the trophy be shared?
With West showing signs of fatigue, from nearly 70 minutes of tough contest, Boroughmuir took a second stab at a try. Powerful running from back-row McConnell saw the young Boroughmuir player end the game as he started, sailing between the sticks for a last minute try. Greave's final conversion was slotted with ease and the full-time whistle blew.
An absolutely enthralling game to close out the day at BT Murrayfield, which could really have gone either way, but Boroughmuir retain the cup for a second season running.
Full time: Boroughmuir 31 West of Scotland 24
Player of the Match: Liam McConnell
West of Scotland
15. Stewart Black 14. Cameron McKay 13. Patrick Spence 12. Kerr Yule CAPTAIN 11. Ross Darroch 10. Charlie Greaves 9. Brodie Buchanan 1. Sebastian Sing 2. Angus Cameron 3. Adam Young 4. Ryan Burke 5. Emin Thaqi 6. Callum Godber 7. Yousuf Shaheen 8. Finn Carden
Replacements 16. Robbie Dale 17. Lleyton Kearney 18. Gabriele Piccione 19. Callum Rutherford 20. Lewis Howick 21. Scott Kelly 22. Adam Dunford
15. Finn Hollins-Kirk 14. Lewis Bisset 13. Nick Adler 12. Ben Sommerville 11. Ozzy Canakaivata 10. Gavin Lockhart 9. Greg Anderson 1. Finlay Gillgrass 2. Jerry Blyth-Lafferty 3. Reuben Moloney 4. Conor Burns 5. Mark McKay 6. Liam McConnell 7. Euan Smart 8. Liam Habib CAPTAIN
Replacements: 16. Jamie Brooks 17. Murray Small 18. Joseph Sobey 19. Frank Gray 20. Brodie Clark 21. Ross Campbell 22. Lewis Veitch