Falkirk 21 Stewart’s Melville 24: Finn Russell watchesSunnyside thriller

Picture: Alan Murray
Picture: Alan Murray
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In a closely contested opener to their National DivisionTwo season Falkirk came up just short against their city rivals.

This was a match which threw up six tries, of which none were converted, but the visitors edged their hosts out by scoring three penalties to Falkirk’s two.

Picture: Alan Murray

Picture: Alan Murray

No side ever managed to stretch away from their oponents in this topsy-turvy envcounter which saw the lead change hands on a number of occasions and in the end the students held out for a narrow victory.

With Scotland caps past and present in attendance – in the persons of Finlay Calder and Finn Russell– both sides were desparate to make a winning start to their leagus campaigns.

Falkirk started well but soon found themselveas in arrears as Stewarts Melville scored on their first visit into the Falkirk half with a well-taken try in the right hand corner.

Falkirk’s superiority was rewarded with a Tompkins penalty and an opportunist trry springing from a Russell inerception. He off-loaded a pass to Scobbie who deliverd the ball to Calum Rennie for the try. Falkirk were motoring now and Alan Connolly finished up a fine move by touching down in the right hand corner.

Picture: Alan Murray

Picture: Alan Murray

But shortly before the interval the moments which were to turn the game upside down arrived. Falkirk conceded two penalties in front of the posts and the teams went into the turn around with a two-point differential instead of the eignt it might have been.

The game seemed to be slipping away from the hosts when the vistors added two tries and a penalty to BTW Man of the Match Duncan Topkins but Falkirk rallied in the final ten minutes.

Firstly Harry Russell took a quick tap only for thr referee to claim he couldn’t see the ball being touched down. In all the excitement of the moment he chose to ignore the visitors failing to retreat the obligatory ten yards.

Later Falkirk were awarded another penalty on the 22 and this time from the lineout John McKenna dived over to bring Falkirk to within three points but that was as close as they were going to get.

Picture: Alan Murray

Picture: Alan Murray