Edinburgh Academy 13 - 11 Stewart's Melville College: Gillies gives Edinburgh dramatic win
Gillies, who kicked eight of his side's points from a conversion, a drop goal and his winning penalty goal, received the man-of-the-match award.
For their part Stewart's Melville were every bit as lively with impressive performances from centre Michael Crawley, flanker Ben Johnstone and full back Scott Cook who scored all his side's points.
• Henry Binnian dives over to score Edinburgh Academy's try. Picture: Mike Shipley
It was Stewart's Melville who looked the stronger in the opening quarter, applying pressure with some clever back play. From one such move centre Michael Crawley breached what had been iron Academy defence after taking a switch pass from stand-off Andrew Warnock.
Alex Hagart continued the move and looked set to score but for a fine tackle from Academy win Tom Wittle. Stewart's Melville were not to be denied, the points dividend finally coming from a touchline penalty kick by full back Scott Cook.
Almost immediately after the restart Stewart's Melville were reduced to 14 men after winger Max Batchelor was sent to the sin-bin for an injudicious challenge on an airborne receiver.
Academy straight away took advantage of their numerical superiority with a break by Fraser Gillies only for what could have been the scoring pass to be dropped leaving Stewart's Melville trooping into the first half break with a 3-0 advantage.
Turning round in the second half Academy began to turn the screw.
In their next foray into the Stewart's Melville 22 Academy struck, their forwards making ground from a driving maul before the ball was spun wide to full back Adam Simpson. When he was stopped the Academy forwards recycled the ball swiftly giving Gillies enough time to line up a scoring pass for lock Henry Binnian, who powered over close to the posts leaving Gillies with a simple conversion kick.
At the other end Cook was short with a 45-metre attempt at goal, but minutes later Colleges had further points on the board. Skipper Michael Crawley carved out the break before giving a perfectly timed pass to Cook for the full back to race in at the corner.
Then, with six minutes of the game remaining, Colleges made ground by bringing blindside wing Andrew Hughes into midfield in a crisp move. At the breakdown Academy were penalised for coming over the top and from 30 metres Cook atoned for his earlier miss by striking the ball perfectly to give his side a one point lead with the scoreline at 11-10.
• The Edinburgh Academy squad celebrate their dramatic win. Picture: Phil Wilkinson/TSPL
As the game moved into the last minute Academy tried desperately to bridge the gap, but two drop goal attempts by Gillies went wide of the posts. Then when the stand-off put a third shot wide Colleges were adjudged off side. And from in front of the posts Gillies delivered the shattering coup de grace to give Academy victory at the death.
Scorers: Edinburgh Academy: Tries: Binnian. Cons: Gillies. Drop goal: Gillies. Pens: Gillies. Stewart's Melville College: Tries: Cook. Pens: Cook (2).
Edinburgh Academy: Adam Simpson; Angus Normand, Ben Brown, Matthew Zegleman, Tom Whittle; Fraser Gillies (capt), James Munro; Roddy Campbell, Struan Moodie, Struan Murphy, David Forbes, Henry Binnian, Nasos Plevris, Chris Dean, Lawrie Seydak. Substitutes: Greig Blackie, Jamie MacLean, Robin Cumming, Jamie Farndale.
Stewart's-Melville College: Scott Cook; Andrew Hughes, Alex Hagart, Michael Crawley (capt), Max Batchelor; Andrew Warnock, Jonny Gilfillan; Max Campbell, Jamie Cook, George Turner, Ben Docherty, Ross Mcphail, Neil Bowie, Ben Johnstone, Andrew Wilson. Substitutes: Murray Tainton,
Referee: J Matthew.