Stirling County and Boroughmuir triumph in the National Youth League Cups
A beautiful day at BT Murrayfield welcomed four teams from across the county to battle it out for silverware in the U18 and U16 National Youth League Cup Finals
U18 | Stirling County v Ayr
Stirling County were targeting a third successive cup final victory over Ayr in the U18 competition and were clinical in securing it.
The opening exchanges set the tone for much of the first half, Stirling County playing a high-tempo physical game and retaining possession to wear down a tenacious Ayr defence.
County were first on the board as an excellent break from half-way found its way through the hands to man of the match Tommy Johnson who dotted down. The conversion slipped just wide.
Stirling continued to enjoy possession and territory and even crossed the whitewash only to be held-up. They kept their heads from the scrum, winning a penalty for offside, and went quickly through scrum-half Shaw to stretch their lead.
When Ayr did get some go-forward they were every bit as physical as County and seemed to have scored underneath the sticks only to be held-up. The ensuing scrum was solid and Chris Easton showed his pace to score Ayr’s first points in the corner.
As the half-time whistle approached they had a chance to cut the deficit further but the long-range penalty effort fell just short.
Half Time | Stirling County 10 – 5 Ayr
All the early play in the second period took place in Ayr territory but errors cost Stirling as they look to grow their lead.
It took a break from half-way, finished by Calum Campbell in the corner, to break the second-half deadlock on 43 minutes.
Ayr looked to strike back immediately and play swung to the opposite end of the field but the team in pink was unable to capitalise on a number of County errors and they escaped without conceding.
Stirling came again and a malfunctioning Ayr line-out on the five-metre line was pounced upon for their fourth try through Lachlan Mackay to leave Ayr needing three scores.
The west coast side managed to win some ball but they couldn’t get the territory to match and Stirling County looked comfortable winding down the clock.
They were even able to add an extra gloss to the final score-line in the dying seconds when Andrew Rutherford scored a fifth try.
Full Time | Stirling County 29 – 5 Ayr
U16 | Boroughmuir v Cartha Queen’s Park
Boroughmuir took control early on in the U16 final against Cartha Queen’s Park and didn’t ease off to win 80-12.
Both sides looked up for it early-on and Boroughmuir were able to banish the memory of some early errors when they put Cameron Ledingham over after some neat passing out to the wing to take an early lead.
The Edinburgh side would stretch their lead only a few minutes later when a break from Craig Stewart was finished by man of the match Stuart Dobson who added to his tally with the conversion.
It was a sign of things to come and Number 8 Michael Jones showed some real skill for Boroughmuir’s third as he grubbered through and chased his own kick to score.
Cartha struggled to contain Boroughmuir out wide and Ledingham flew down the wing for his second and his team’s fourth well within 20 minutes.
Boroughmuir continued their enterprising play and Josh Howard chipped and collected before showing his pace to get ‘Muir’s fifth beneath the posts.
The west coast side persevered and made ground at times but Boroughmuir’s breakdown work was exemplary, slowing and turning over ball when Cartha made inroads.
Cartha would get a score before half-time after their first sustained period of pressure as flanker McKenzie powered over from short range. David McCartney added the extras.
Half Time | Boroughmuir 33 – 7 Cartha Queen’s Park
It was ‘as you were’ after the break as Sonny Reid capitalised on some early territory to get over the line.
Adam Jacques added to Muir’s growing tally after Matthew Crawford showed great pace and strength to get on the outside and make the scoring pass.
More would come for the team in green and blue as Craig Stewart got a score to add to his earlier assist, Ewan Bell raced over from an individual break and Callum McGregor bludgeoned over beneath the posts.
Boroughmuir would add another try when Charlie Farmer added his name to the score-sheet but Cartha would have one last shot with Cameron McKenzie diving over for his second try.
A late surge from the winners saw Matthew Crawford score to close the game with an impressive 80-12 scoreline.
Full Time | Boroughmuir 80 – 12 Cartha Queen’s Park
National Youth League Cup Finals results
Stirling County 29 – 5 Ayr
Boroughmuir 80 – 12 Cartha Queen’s Park