Gregor Hunter drop goal snatches victory for Currie

A spectacular drop goal deep into added time under the floodlights won a closely contested game for Currie.

Currie players celebrate Gregor Hunters 40-metre drop goal with the last kick of the game.  Photograph: Bruce White/SNS/SRU
Currie players celebrate Gregor Hunters 40-metre drop goal with the last kick of the game. Photograph: Bruce White/SNS/SRU

The players knew time was up as soon as the ball went dead. So it was a last throw of the dice with stand-off Gregor Hunter 40 metres from goal when he received the ball to drop it on his boot and make the perfect connection so it flew straight and true to overturn the scoreboard.

It was a real sickener for Heriot’s who thought they had done enough over 87 hard-fought minutes and could only watch as the ball sailed over their heads to rack up those final, vital points.

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The game had kicked off with Heriot’s and Chieftains separated by two points and sitting third and fourth in the league respectively. By the end they had switched places.

The visitors made all the running from the kick-off, patiently retaining possession inside the Currie 22 and waiting for cracks to appear in the defence.

But the home team held firm and ran the ball out only for Heriot’s to fire it back and continue the pressure. A forward pass ended one promising move, a grubber kick rolled out of play before anyone could get to it, and a break out by Currie was halted at halfway, but only briefly until scrum-half Charlie Sheil found a gap and led Currie in their first real attack. The Edinburgh pro carried deep into the 22 and the ball was quickly recycled to go wide for winger Ben Robbins to get the try with 25 minutes on the clock. Hunter couldn’t convert from the touchline.

A high tackle gave Heriot’s the opportunity to reply immediately with a 35-metre penalty by outside centre Ross Jones.

And then a lineout inside the 22 gave them the chance to drive a rolling maul over the line with blindside flanker Iain Wilson at the bottom of the pile for the try to put them ahead. Jones converted.

Heriot’s lost lock Adam Sinclair to the sin bin for a careless high tackle but held on to a narrow 5-10 lead at the break.

Into the second half Currie captain Robbie Nelson spearheaded a 50-metre cavalry charge that was only stopped on the line. The follow-up surges eventually came to nothing.

But Currie did get a morale boost when they won a scrum penalty in midfield and were able to kick into the Heriot’s 22. Again it seemed to come to nothing until a penalty at the breakdown allowed Hunter to step up and knock it over from 35 metres, making it a two-point game.

Heriot’s went on the attack, slowing down play and grinding it out inside Currie’s half with an eye on the clock. It was a dangerous game and it backfired spectacularly when Hunter went for the 40-metre drop goal with the last kick of the game and it soared between the posts.