Boroughmuir built themselves a game-winning platform by half-time but then were muscled out of it as Watsonians got up to full power with a hat-trick of tries to leave the hosts hanging on to protect a vital losing bonus point, writes William Paul.
It was a clear echo of seven days before and the cup quarter final when it was Watsonians who built a 17-point lead and Boroughmuir who came storming back only to have it snatched away by an injury-time try.
Watsonians proved the more resilient team on both occasions which is why they are near the top of the Premiership table and Boroughmuir are occupying the play-off slot at second bottom.
Both teams now face decisive clashes in two weeks’ time where the points value will be magnified with Watsonians welcoming Ayr to Myreside and Boroughmuir travelling to meet Glasgow Hawks.
On Saturday, Boroughmuir stand-off Chris Laidlaw set the scoreboard ticking over with a simple penalty after eight minutes, followed by a brace of tries by winger Grant McConnell and centre Greg Cannie to make it 15-0 at the interval with several early candidates in the frame for man of the match – lock Finn Field for his lineout steals, Laidlaw for his game management, No 8 Craig Keddie for his all-round play.
Watsonians coach Steve Lawrie said: “Boroughmuir deserve credit. You could see they were fighting for their lives. In the dressing room at half-time the players were honest and knew things needed fixing and they fixed it. That is character and that is what you need to win games”
The match was turned on its head in the second 40 as Watsonians came on to their game. A Laidlaw penalty was all Boroughmuir could muster to try and turn the tide as the visitors scored tries through blindside Rory Drummond, replacement flanker Gregor Nelson and sevens international Michael Fedo, with scrum-half Ali Harris sweeping up the extras with his boot.
Once they were ahead, Watsonians were relentless and Boroughmuir hardly made it out of their 22 for the final ten minutes, expending the last of their energy on protecting that bonus point.
Boroughmuir coach Peter Wright said: “We played exceptionally well in the first half and we were worthy of the lead but we are not an 80-minute team. We knew they would come back at us and, when they did, we couldn’t get a foothold in the game. When we got the ball they turned us over too easily and that hurt us when they took their chances and probably deserved the win.”