Heriot’s 29 - 24 Boroughmuir: Home run goes on

Martin Hughes of Heriots prepares to tackle Boroughmuirs Damien Hoyland at Goldenacre.  Photograph: Greg Macvean
Martin Hughes of Heriots prepares to tackle Boroughmuirs Damien Hoyland at Goldenacre. Photograph: Greg Macvean
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Heriot’s kept their fine winning run on track with a workmanlike if unconvincing bonus-point victory over city neighbours Boroughmuir.

The Meggetland side, who got their first win of the season only last week, rallied in the second half with a couple of tries but the comeback quickly faded before reviving in the last few minutes as they ended with two bonus points.

The first try came on four minutes when soft hands from Heriot’s full-back Ross Jones gave winger Charlie Simpson space to squeeze along the line and make a return pass that gave Jones a clear run in from 30 metres. He converted his own try.

The home side were dominating possession but didn’t find it so easy to break through after that as they were consistently wrapped up by efficient tackling. But the visitors were short of attacking ideas and found it difficult to escape their own half.

Heriot’s relentless pressure paid off at the end of the first quarter as a cross-field passing move found Simpson once more in enough space on the right to go over in the corner. The conversion was wide.

Heriot’s were tending towards carelessness at times, but Muir seemed unable to do anything about it. When Edinburgh pro Damien Hoyland made a good break and reached the halfway line, rather than take the contact he chose to kick. It was blocked and the chance was lost.

Muir’s set-piece worked well but they couldn’t build anything more positive on the back of it. Heriot’s were also wasteful, replacement scrum-half Alex Ball making a fine break from the rear of a scrum only to pass the ball into touch.

After the break, Heriot’s got a third try when lock Callum Marshall snatched a loose touch-finder kick out of the air and initiated a move that saw Ball score on the other side.

Muir full-back Greg Cannie was yellow-carded for dissent but his team-mates reacted by immediately attacking and prop Ross Dunbar touched down for a try, converted by fly-half Ciaran Whyte.

It put a whole new complexion on the game. Suddenly Hoyland was running free and Muir were threatening back in the red zone.

Heriot’s hooker Michael Liness was then sent off for dangerous play and Muir, with their tails up, scored a second try through replacement Dan Marek.

But the game swung wildly back in favour of 14-man Heriot’s as Hoyland fumbled a kick in his own 22 and Ball pounced for the bonus-point try. There were still 20 minutes to go but any doubt over the result was banished when Junior Rosalea burst a tackle and ran in to score, Jones converting.

Boroughmuir ended defiantly as centre Ronan Kerr scored his team’s third try and captain Johnny Matthews added a fourth.