Heriot's make hard work of victory over Boroughmuir

Heriot's squeezed out a victory as Boroughmuir fell just short of what would have been a remarkable comeback after pretty poor performances by both teams.

Boroughmauir No 8  Aubrey McCube offloads the ball as he is tackled. Picture Ian Rutherford
Boroughmauir No 8 Aubrey McCube offloads the ball as he is tackled. Picture Ian Rutherford

Heriot’s were the better side but made hard work of it and were never fully in control of the game while their opponents flattered to deceive with patches of good running rugby that came and went.

Boroughmuir coach Peter Wright was unimpressed with his losing bonus point. “Heriot’s dominated the breakdown and we couldn’t cope with it. When we got the ball we did look dangerous and, in the last ten minutes when we were two scores down, we played well. But we didn’t deserve to win.”

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The defending champions had notched up a first win of the season the previous week with a 50-plus point hammering of Hawick while Boroughmuir lost by the odd point in 50 against near neighbours Watsonians so the stage was set for a pivotal encounter.

An early penalty exchange between Heriot’s stand-off Alex Hagart and Boroughmuir full-back Dougie Steele opened the scoring.

Heriot’s spurned the chance of another simple three points by kicking for the corner and, with a diversion from one side of the pitch to the other, loosehead prop Murray McCallum ploughed over beside the posts. Hagart converted.

Steele’s second penalty reduced the deficit but Hagart’s second restored the distance on the scoreboard and then his third, right on the stroke of halftime, stretched it again to 6-16, with Boroughmuir prop Dale Robertson dispatched to the sin bin for the offence.

After the break, Boroughmuir took the game deep into the Heriot’s 22 with penetrating carries by Jordan Edmunds and captain for the day Craig Keddie before Steele kicked the easy penalty. It didn’t last though and Boroughmuir were increasingly wasteful with the possession they had and Heriot’s were equally wasteful in their passing and handling. So the visitors used their big pack to turn the screw.

A series of close-quarter line-outs produced rolling mauls that were stymied by the Boroughmuir defence until one gathered sufficient momentum and had to be illegally stopped as it rumbled towards the line, obliging the referee to award the penalty try. Hagart converted and the job was done – almost.

In the final quarter, Boroughmuir threw the ball about to try and rescue the situation. The idea was to make something happen and it did. Replacement Jamie Scott grabbed the try with almost his first touch in the last few frantic minutes. Steele’s conversion meant 100 points for the club this season and a losing bonus point for the game.

Boroughmuir launched a few more attacking sallies but got nowhere before the final whistle ended the afternoon.

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Heriot’s coach Phil Smith said. “Some of it was pretty hard to watch. I was expecting more from us. We should have scored more points and even for them to get a bonus was frustrating.”