Dollar crash to on-form Fettes in cup thriller

Fettes College 14

Dollar Academy 10

GRAHAM Brown was the toast of Fettes College last night when he scored the winning try against the previously undefeated Dollar 14-10 in the semi-final of the Scottish Schools Cup at Myreside.

The wing gave Fettes a well deserved victory two minutes from the end when Dollar were hanging on to a 10-6 lead.

Something had to give and when stand-off Keir McLennan used the blind side, the wing had the pace and determination to beat the cover for a memorable try. McLennan missed the conversion, but then added a penalty with the last kick of the game.

Fettes will now meet Merchiston Castle in the final at Murrayfield on 21 March, and on last night’s form they may well start favourites. It was their 20th win in 22 matches.

Paul Kesterton, the Fettes coach, could not contain his delight at his boys’ performance, particularly in the second half.

"We came back so well," he said. "Keir made all the difference in the second period by using the ball so well and keeping play in the Dollar half."

It was a superbly competitive game which started at 100mph and never flagged.

Dollar’s captain Graeme Morrison looked as if he would be the match-winner in the first half, and his tearful face at the end told its own story.

It was McLennan who put Fettes ahead after only two minutes with a penalty, soon matched by Morrison’s effort.

He had taken over from Michael Adamson after the stand-off had missed an earlier kick. After 21 minutes scrum-half John McIntosh dodged over for a try under the posts for Dollar, and Adamson’s conversion gave a deserved lead.

Just before half-time McLennan banged over his second penalty, but then missed another after the restart.

Even the sin-binning of Fettes’ German prop Barclay Fix, for stamping, could not deflect them from their task in hand, and the only surprise was that it took them almost until the final whistle to turn their superiority into points.

Dollar Academy: D Robertson, E Dunn, G Morrison (capt), G Hamilton, C Haslett, M Adamson, J McIntosh, S Foster, D Burton, I Millar, S Donague, N Gilmartin, D Barclay, K Gilmartin, J White.

Fettes College: G Brown, G Tate, A Miller, G Richmond, B Angrove, K McLennan (capt), A Eddington, B Fix, A Young, J Malonor-Thomas, D Olujich, M Medlock, S Perrett, J Melck, C Latimer.

Referee: A Ireland, (Grangemouth)

Merchiston Castle 10

Dundee HS 0

MERCHISTON Castle School, holders and winners in two of the past three years, will again contest the Scottish Schools’ Cup final after defeating Dundee High School at Duffus Park, Cupar, last night. They will meet Fettes College at Murrayfield on Wednesday, 21 March.

Merchiston captain, scrum-half Brendan McKerchar, kicked his side ahead with a penalty after five minutes - the only score of the first half. The best chances fell to Merchiston, with both wingers being tackled close to the line.

Right-winger Alistair Day scored Merchiston’s try nine minutes into the second half. Good rucking in midfield and third-phase possession gave him the chance, and he ran under the bar to give McKerchar an easy conversion.

Dundee won a large percentage of possession from then, but the Merchiston defence was outstanding.

Merchiston Castle: J Grimsdale; A Day, G Lavery, C Whalen, M Towers; O Abram, B McKerchar; G Palmer, J Blyth, N Malloy, S Brewster, C Dudar, B Slater, D Brown, B Dunnett.

Dundee HS: K Kyles; J Grewar, S Gordon, C Rankine, R Grieve; D Vernon, G Henderson; J Martin, N Dimmock, A Dickinson, C Cumming, J Longden, A Haddanou, T Knight, A Sholi.