On Wednesday afternoon the St. Mary’s 1st XV took on Merchiston Castle School out on Front Field. This is always a hard-fought fixture and Wednesday’s match would be no exception.
We picked a hard-nosed pack fronted by William Mac, Oliver E and Jake M with Mac R and Dicken in the boiler room and a powerful backrow of Thomas E, Jamie F and Ollie C. Caelan started at scrummie with Captain William Tweedie pulling the strings at 10. Centres Will S and Archie Mo filled the midfield while Archie Mac, Antony and Tommy made up the back three.
The match kicked off and the home side were soon pinned back against their line. Tackling in tight was good and wave after wave of Merchie attacks were kept out by some staunch defence. However, when the ball was spun wide there always seemed to be an extra man in blue out on the wing. One such pass out to the left put the Merchiston player into a one-on-one situation. He easily brushed off a rather limp challenge to dot down near the posts. The conversion was slotted and things were not looking great for St. Mary’s.
A second score followed soon after as Merchiston repeatedly drove short at the St. Mary’s line. The conversion was banged over and the home side were 14 – 0 down within 10 minutes.
As the half wore on the St. Mary’s pack began to turn the screw on the opposition. Pressure from the forwards won time and field position and we began to make inroads with our backline. Will S came close to scoring on two occasions. Both times he proved why shirts should always be tucked in as he was dragged down by the offending garment.
Half-Time: St. Mary’s 1st XV 0 – 14 Merchiston Castle School
We were very much in the game at half-time and were starting to get a handle on the Merchiston backs out wide with Archie Mac and Archie Mo combining to make some robust tackles and Will S constantly scything down any attackers who broke through. Jamie S was having an excellent game with ball in hand and his try, as he picked up and bullocked through from 20 yards out was one of the scores of the season so far. The rushed conversion was missed but St. Mary’s were on the front foot and a second score soon followed for Tommy.
This left St. Mary’s only four points adrift with 10 minutes still to play.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as good work by the Merchiston pack set up their big centre to power through some meek St. Mary’s tackling to run in the winning score.
Will S’s fantastic cover tackle brought the curtain down on an entertaining but frustrating game where we were better than the visitors for extended periods but failed to rack up the points or make the tackles required to come away victorious.
Final Score: St. Mary’s 1st XV 10 – 21 Merchiston Castle School
Mr T Rawson
Photographs by Mrs H
Marnie Harvey, 06/10/2017