Merchiston Castle School flew the flag for Scotland by finishing third at the prestigious St Joseph’s Festival in Ipswich last weekend to suggest that the Colinton side is now moving into form ahead of the quarter-final stage of the Scottish Schools Under-18 Cup.
On Saturday, Merchiston were unbeaten in Group 3 to finish top after achieving wins over Whitchurch High School (24-10), Gordon’s School (34-0) and Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe (12-6) in qualifying for the Cup.
On Sunday, they defeated Denstone College 17-0 and Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School, Wakefield (17-10) before losing to eventual winners Cranleigh (0-12).
“Finishing third was very creditable. It was an amazing effort from the boys,” said the Merchiston coach, Roddy Deans.
Merchiston’s excellent performance will boost their confidence for their cup quarter-final against Edinburgh Academy. They reached the last eight by defeating Biggar High School 24-8 last week, while Dundee High School were 35-26 winners over George Heriot’s School. Stewart’s-Melville Collegemet resistance from Glenalmond before winning 18-10 to join them.
A thrilling contest at Newfield resulted in a 26-24 win for Loretto over Strathallan.
Loretto will face defending champions George Watson’s College at Myreside. The other quarter-final matches are Dundee High School v Stewart’s-Melville College, Merchiston v Edinburgh Academy and Dollar Academy v Fettes College.
In the under-16 Cup matches played last week, Merchiston defeated Morrison’s Academy 53-0, while Stewart’s-Melville College edged out Preston Lodge High School 36-31 to reach the quarter-finals.
St Aloysius College and Fettes College had already booked their places.