North Berwick win earns clash with Strathmore

STRATHMORE and North Berwick will run out at Murrayfield on Saturday, 24 April after both won through their Scottish Hydro Regional Bowl semi-finals on Saturday.

They defeated Wigtownshire and Duns respectively to make sure they will join Ayr, Melrose, Greenock Wanderers and Lasswade on finals day.

Caledonia One title chasers Strathmore had a relatively comfortable afternoon in Stranraer, seeing off West One outfit Wigtownshire 22-0.

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Centre Neil Lear started the ball rolling with a try, while full-back Brad McKenzie was at his best with the boot to always keep them in control of the contest against their stuffy hosts.

East League One side North Berwick had a tougher last four tie to get to the national stadium, only a late converted try seeing them home against Duns 21-20.

The visitors started well in East Lothian and took a 7-0 lead after just two minutes. North Berwick fought back through two long distance penalties from stand-off Grant Craig before Duns, also from East One, kicked a penalty of their own to go further into the lead at the break.

In the second-half Duns continued to play some good rugby and when they scored two more well worked tries themselves they must have thought they were heading to Murrayfield for the second year in a row after last season’s Plate final appearance.

However, the current North Berwick team are not used to losing and a try by scrum-half Grant Spence and accurate kicking from Craig meant they entered the last five minutes just 20-14 behind.

No8 Jamie Dove then scored a try for the hosts before Craig held his nerve to convert from the touchline and put his side 21-20 up. Duns kept pressing until the final whistle, but some great North Berwick defence kept them out.