Capital rivals set for close encounter in semi-finals

The Brewin Dolpin Scottish Schools Under-18 Cup commands centre stage this week with both semi-finals scheduled for Thursday, when Merchiston face Edinburgh Academy at Colinton and George Watson’s College play Stewart’s-Melville College at Myreside.

Merchiston and Edinburgh Academy met in their traditional fixture only just over two weeks ago and the result – a 22-16 victory for Academy – suggests that the cup game could be a close encounter. Merchiston warmed up for their semi-final with an away win against Glenalmond by 21-10 with tries from centre Alex Webb and full back Matt Flett.

Edinburgh Academy meanwhile maintained their unbeaten record this season but had to work hard against Strathallan for a 27-23 win at Forgandenny.

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“It was a really tough match against the best Strathallan team I’ve seen in ten years. This was a great preparation for our cup game against Merchiston” said Academy coach, Mark Appleson.

Stand-off Zander Muir scored two tries for Academy and there was one each for wing Freddie Smith and No 8 Andrew McWilliam. The other points for Academy came from Alex Swan who kicked two conversions and one penalty goal.

While George Watson’s College first XV were rested on Saturday, their cup opponents, Stewart’s-Melville College, were away to Dollar Academy in the Grant Mackenzie Cup and suffered a 12-0 defeat.

Meanwhile, in the Brewin Dolphin Under-18 Plate, the title holders, Glenalmond College, suffered a shock third-round defeat in losing by 17-0 to Millburn Academy in Inverness last week. Millburn’s tries came from centres Tom Brogan and John Clark and No 8 Ruraidh Knott.

Joining Millburn Academy in the quarter-finals are Linlithgow Academy, who had a 9-0 win over former cup winners Bell-Baxter High School, and Madras College, 42-0 winners over Buckhaven High School.

Elsewhere, George Heriot’s School lost to Loretto at Goldenacre but will be hoping to regroup for this weekend’s fixture with Dundee High School at Mayfield.

The under-16 match between the two sides will be a re-run of the recent cup quarter-final game at Goldenacre, won by Dundee High.

In the west, Marr College surrendered their unbeaten record this season after losing 20-5 to Glasgow High School, St Aloysius College registered a 11-0 victory over Glasgow Academy at Millerston and Hutchesons’ Grammar School enjoyed a 33-7 triumph against St Columba’s.