1st XVv Belhaven Hill

 Wednesday 15 November

On Wednesday afternoon the St. Mary’s 1st team played their second match of the season against Belhaven Hill. The first game in Melrose had been a very one-sided affair with the visitors running away by five tries to one.
We were determined that this would not happen and, such has been the improvement of the squad’s performances this term, were quietly confident that we could pull off a “shock” result. We fielded the strongest team available with props Dicken and William Mac either side of Ollie E, Mack and Thomas in the second row and Pack Leader Matt B at Number 8. Captain William T started at scrummie with the mercurial Tommy DB at fly, Jamie at inside centre and Will S at outside centre. The Archies Mo and Mac filled the wing slots and stalwart Alex F was at full-back. Caelan and Ollie C started on the bench.
The match kicked off with Archie Mo fielding a high kick and running it straight back at the home defence. The forwards won the ruck and set up a series of drives through the midfield. Jamie picked up from one ruck and forced the ball deep into the oppo 22. Two short runs by William Mac and Dicken were held up just short before Tommy bullied his way toward the line before just touching down with an outstretched arm.
Belhaven Hill got the ball into the St. Mary’s 22 from the restart and, guilty of trying to play too much rugby in the wrong area, we gifted an intercept try with a telegraphed pass. Our heads dropped for a couple of minutes and, as so often happens at this level, we leaked another soon after to leave the score 14 – 7 at half time.
The only forays into the St. Mary’s 22 had led to tries and we had to keep the pressure up on the home side as our forwards were drawing in defenders and we had the gas and power in the midfield and outside to force mistakes from the BHS backline. Soon after half-time Tommy chipped over the defence with a deliciously weighted dink and Will S outpaced the cover to dive on the bobbling ball. Unfortunately, the kick was missed. This try was followed soon after for another as Will gassed through a little hole in the midfield to put St. Mary’s five point up with five minutes to play.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as a series of Belhaven forward drives sucked in our backline leaving a little too much room out wide for the big centre to run into. He offloaded well out of the tackle and the winger had just enough gas to outstrip our scramble defence. The conversion put Belhaven two points ahead and a further try two minutes later put the game just out of reach.
Final Score: St. Mary’s 1st XV 19 – 28 Belhaven Hill

Coach’s Notes: Today’s performance was one filled with pride and passion and no little skill. This was the best two teams on the circuit going head to head, hammer and tongs. In fact, one of the Belhaven parents, watching the youngest of his three boys, said that it was the highest skill level that he had seen at this level. The St. Mary’s boys played at the tempo and the determination that both Mr Whitelaw and myself have been working toward this season. Every boy can be very proud, as we are, of the effort that he showed.
Pride is all there is to this great game. Pride is everything.

Well done to you all.

Marnie Harvey, 18/11/2017

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