They were pushed all the way by a Boroughmuir side that overturned a 13-point half-time deficit to edge in front. However, the visitors managed to grind out a victory against stuffy opponents who were left ruing their inability to see out a game that they looked set to win.
“If you make as many errors as we did you are never going to win games of rugby,” said home coach Peter Wright. “We blew it.”
His counterpart Ben Cairns was pleased with the outcome if not the performance. “It’s good that we came through that challenge – wet conditions, slippery ball,” he said. “There are certainly big parts we need to improve. We played stupid rugby in the second half.”
Two sides with a reputation for open rugby cancelled each other out for lengthy spells of a hard-fought encounter. Ultimately it was the away side’s ability to capitalise on what pressure they exerted that proved to be the difference.
Chieftains went ahead in eight minutes when the home defence parted and Mike Vernel sprinted through the space to dot down. Jamie Forbes added the conversion.
Ciaran Whyte pushed a penalty attempt wide of the uprights as the home side enjoyed a spell of pressure. But the hosts fell further into arrears in 26 minutes when Forbes slotted a penalty. And the Chieftains stand-off added a further three points from an almost identical spot ten minutes later to send the visitors in at the break with a 13-0 advantage.
Boroughmuir clawed back three points when Chris Laidlaw booted a penalty shortly after the restart. And they blasted the match wide open when Lewis Carmichael crashed over from close range following a lineout drive after a penalty that saw Chieftains’ hooker Campbell Wilson yellow-carded. Laidlaw added the extras and then turned creator with a deft chip that bounced kindly for Greig Cannie who finished in style to hand Boroughmuir the lead.
Forbes reclaimed the initiative for the visitors when he stroked over a penalty, and Chieftains moved eight points clear when Dutch international Vince Wright, pictured, charged down an attempted clearance by Laidlaw and then won the race to the line.
Forbes again kicked the conversion to leave the hosts empty-handed.