Rugby: Elder helps propel North Berwick into contention

NORTH Berwick High School put themselves back in contention for a quarter final place in the Brewin Dolphin Scottish School under-18 cup after defeating Marr College 57-5 last week with a flowing performance that included a hat-trick of tries from Edinburgh under-16 centre Angus Elder.

The East Lothian side achieved their big win without Gregor Anderson, but the North Berwick skipper is expected to be back for the group decider against Hutchesons' Grammar School scheduled for 27 November. East Lothian had further encouraging results with Loretto defeating Heriot's 24-7 on Saturday in a non-cup game and making it a double by winning the second XV match. Loretto's try scorers included the former Ross High School centre Ryan Hook, who is one of several players from the county benefiting from a scholarship.

For Heriot's, weakened by injuries to ten of their first XV squad, this was their second match in three days, the Goldenacre side having played Gordonstoun in their round two pool match, emerging winners by 39-3. Heriot's will play their deciding second-round pool one match against Stewart's-Melville College on 1 December.

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Stewart's-Melville themselves followed up their 57-0 second-round cup win over Fettes with a non-cup victory against Dollar Academy at Inverleith on Saturday by 17-10. In pool two, George Watson's College, winners over North Berwick High School, play Hutchesons' Grammar tomorrow and complete their group games against Marr College on 1 December. In pool four Edinburgh Academy made a winning start to their second round pool matches with a 36-0 win over Strathallan that included a brace of tries from centre Matthew Zegleman. Merchiston, meanwhile, face Dollar Academy today in the cup having enjoyed a 28-6 win over Glenalmond College in a friendly, stand-off Sam Hidalgo-Clyne contributing 18 points.

If East Lothian Schools enjoyed success over the past week, then there was an equal sense of satisfaction in club rugby where Musselburgh consolidated their grip on the Edinburgh and Lothians U18 league with a 59-7 win over Biggar Colts from nine tries and seven conversions, winger Calum Dickson bagging a hat-trick and Edinburgh U17 prop Owen Garvey crossing twice. Occupying second place are Boroughmuir, who had a 42-7 win over a young Dunbar side at Hallhill, Muir's centre Greg Alexander scoring two of his side's six tries, all converted by stand-off Ali Fraser.

In the Borders semi-junior league, Selkirk Youth Club took a step nearer achieving a place in the quarter finals of the National Youth Cup with 28-5 home win over Peebles Colts. Selkirk, however, face a tough test this weekend when they play league leaders Tynedale.