1st XV September 9, 2017

SEPTEMBER 9, 2017, 3:00 PM
Arboreteum Road
1st XV
Match Report
Inverleith 1st XV 34 – 24 Edinburgh Northern 1st XV
09/09/17 – Arboretum

Team: 15. F Doonan, 14. J Tocher, 13. S McPherson, 12. J Jablonski, 11. G Johncock, 10. S Hainey, 9. E McBurnie (V Capt), 8. M Brydon (Capt), 7. P McCaskey, 6. S Hughes, 5. S Jablonski, 4. S McCullough, 3. C Williamson, 2. R Duncan, 1. D O’Sullivan. Reps. 16. A Philip, 17. I Wainwright, 18. G Higginbotham, 19. S Hanlon, 20. D Binnie, 21. M Mckenzie & 22L Marasco* (* Subs used)

After last weeks’ disappointing loss away to Earlston we faced near neighbours, Edinburgh Northern (EN), in our first “real” home fixture. With the pitch in beautiful condition we had a still, mostly, sunny day to show how much better we can be than last week.

The first 9 minutes or so saw both teams making some early errors in the middle of the park. The first opportunity for points fell to us with a penalty just inside EN’s half. Stephen McP made no mistake with his long range effort to give us a 3-0 lead. Ten minutes later pressure on the EN line resulted in us being awarded a penalty on the 5m line. A tap by Stu fed a rampant Seb who crashed over for our first try. Stephen’s conversion took it to 10-0. We went down to 14 men about 10 minutes later when Matt was shown a yellow card for a dump tackle. EN made the most of our reduced numbers and when Euan had his clearance kick charged down they managed to cross for a converted try to cut our lead to 3. Euan made amends shortly afterwards when our ball squirted out the scrum his first fumble wasn’t noticed by the ref and he ran in from the 22 unopposed. Stephen’s conversion took it to 17-7. EN had the last word of the half when Seb was penalised at the breakdown and the resultant penalty made it 17-10.

The second half was only 4 minutes old when Graeme J touched down on the left following a period of good handling. Stephen’s conversion made it 24-10. Stephen then made it 27-10 when he slotted a penalty after 10 minutes. EN didn’t give up as they worked hard to force their way back into the game. They scored 2 converted tries within a 10 minute period when our defence went to sleep and allowed scores both from work close to our line. This seemed to be a wakeup call as we then went on the attack. A good period of pressure saw Diarmuid crash over for a score converted by Stephen to make it 34-24 with about 14 minutes remaining and the try bonus secured. With 10 minutes left it was EN’s turn to see yellow produced as Stu was illegally pulled down at a lineout just inside EN’s half. Stephen’s penalty attempt drifted wide and it looked as is Stewart H had touched it down for a try. Unfortunately the referee didn’t see the incident as she had turned away after the kick had gone wide. EN had a last chance to gain both a try and losing bonus point but Graeme J’s covering tackle dislodged the ball and the ref blew for full time.

Great to get a try bonus win over rivals Northern in a much improved performance. When Iain came on he was the 5th new player to appear in the 1’s league squad this season as our strength in depth continues to grow. We are off to Penicuik next week which is always a tough place to pick up points but if we continue to improve in some of our weaker areas things are looking very promising.

The Official Man of the Match award went to Diarmuid O’Sullivan.

David Brennan