Scottish Schools Cup Final - Wins for Strathallan and Watson’s
Two derby matches at BT Murrayfield saw comfortable victories in the U18 and U16 Cup finals for Strathallan School and George Watson’s College.
Played in mixed conditions, all four sides put in performances to be proud of that entertained the vocal support.
U18 Cup Final | Glenalmond College 8 – 52 Strathallan School
Strathallan lifted the cup after an impressive victory that overcame a shock start against Perthshire rivals, Glenalmond College.
A frantic start to the final saw both teams’ fullbacks, first Glenalmond’s and then Strathallan’s, punish slipped tackles to take the score to 5-7 with only 5 minutes gone.
In spite of their rocky start, Strathallan were looking to play with style and some slick hands on the wing nearly got them through before a rogue pass went to ground. This play came good in the midfield on 12 minutes when Rbertson broke through once more to extend their narrow lead.
A third from Laird was not far behind and they had well and truly banished the worries from conceding the early score to lead 21-5.
Glenalmond were finding it difficult to handle the opposition tempo as Strthallan continued to take the game to their neighbours and commanded the majority of the front foot ball.
It was Glenalmond who struck next, however, with a penalty in front of the posts but that glimmer of hope was short lived as Strathallan tore through their defences on another two occasions, through Clark and Marsh, before the break to hold a comfortable lead.
Half Time: Glenalmond College 8 – 33 Strathallan School
Strathallan were straight on the attack out of the tunnel and it took only two minutes for them to cross the whitewash through Laird for his second try.
They kept up their offloading game from the first half but a fast Glenalmond defence was just able to contain them.
That was until player of the match Vipond skipped through to add to his kicking tally.
The rain was lashing down by this point and the slick ball was proving a challenge for both sides.
When Glenalmond had a platform in the opposition 22 they kept it tight but were unable to get much go-forward.
The players were handling the conditions well but the slippy ball made it difficult for either team to generate momentum.That didn’t stop Strathallan trying, however, and their thunderous carries made ground.
Still neither team could hold on to the ball for long but the leaders were able cross one more time through Ollie Smith to record a substantial 52-8 victory.
U16 Cup Final | Stewart’s Melville College 19 – 64 George Watson’s College
George Watson’s College won the U16 cup match in an Edinburgh derby against Stewart’s Melville.
Neither side could get a foothold early on with promising attacking play coming to nothing after spilled balls deep in opposition territory.
On the attack, Watson’s turned down a shot at goal from 30 metres out in favour of a tap. Though they then lost the ball in contact they pressured the ensuing scrum and were able to turn over and send player of the match Angus Hoffie through for the opening score.
Watson’s looked to attack again right from the restart and won a penalty to take them into Stewart’s Melville territory. Hard running in the midfield from the leaders created more space out wide for Hoffie to score his second.
It wasn’t long before they stretched their lead further, and it was Hoffie again, this time closer to the posts, securing his hat-trick, who gave Watson’s a commanding 19-0 lead after only 23 minutes.
Stewart’s Melville’s reply was short lived. A first foray into the Watson’s 22 in 10 minutes was cut short as Watson’s exposed a lack of support and they went back for a penalty which Stewart’s Melville put into the corner.
Kickable penalties were spurned for taps and kicks to touch as Stewart’s Melville looked to make a statement. Unfortunately, their attacks with width came to nothing and they knocked on in the tackle, enabling Watson’s to clear their lines.
Half a break in the centre of the park on 31 minutes put Stewart’s Melville in position to take more quick penalties and Aaron Robertson wriggled over to narrow the deficit.
The leaders were the narrowest of margins from increasing the difference once more, but another try line spill lifted the pressure for Stewart’s Melville and the half came to a close.
Half Time: Stewart’s Melville College 7 - 19 George Watson’s College
Again, Stewart’s Melville started the brighter but where they had fallen short in the first half they didn’t in the second and Joshua Grant powered over the line to make things much closer at 14-19.
The attack wouldn’t let up and it was matter of minutes later before Grant squeezed over again at the corner to tie things up.
There was a break in play for a serious injury and George Watson's were able to take the initiative thereafter.
Watson’s were clinical and tries for Cousin, Snodgrass, Stephen, Scougall, two for Harley and a fourth for Hoffie saw George Watson’s retake the lead after a series of attacks.
Holding Stewart’s Melville scoreless in the final 25 minutes they would ease their way to victory 64-19 at BT Murrayfield.
Scottish Schools Cup Final results
U18 Cup final
Glenalmond College 8 - 52 Strathallan School
U16 Cup final
Stewart’s Melville College 19 – 64 George Watson’s College