Merchiston thrill Murrayfield as they take Schools Cup

MERCHISTON Castle were today reflecting on a stunning 44-21 success over Capital rivals George Watson’s in last night’s Bell Lawrie White Scottish Schools Cup final on the international pitch at Murrayfield, their third straight success in the competition.

The match was an 11-try celebration of flowing rugby played before a crowd of almost 5000 and rugby master Mark Appleson said of his side’s performance: "During the first 20 minutes we played almost flawless rugby.

"Everything we have done in training during the last two weeks was put into practice. The players really rose to the occasion."

Merchiston made a superb start and claimed three quick-fire tries, establishing a lead they never looked likely to surrender. Flanker Duncan Brown set the wheels in motion when, after four phases of play, the ball was spun out to him and he ignored the support on his outside to race over for a try.

Then impressive winger Ross McClymont claimed the first of three scores when he wrong footed his marker and broke through a despairing last-ditch tackle to touch down. A rout looked on the cards when stand-off Scott Hadden applied a tidy finish to another move.

Merchiston full back Doug Brown got the fourth try when he raced onto a pass to force his way over.

By the interval, Watson’s had conceded a further try when man of the match lock Rory Clark picked up at a ruck in the aftermath of a lineout and plunged over.

Watson’s found themselves further in arrears when McClymont scored twice, the first converted by Hadden.

Watson’s then produced the try of the match when they took a quick penalty inside their own 22 and Phil Fulton sprinted almost 90 metres for a score which Michael Ker converted. Six minutes later, centre Ben di Rollo powered over for a second try for Watson’s and Ker again converted.

Castle’s Duncan Brown claimed his second try which Hadden converted, before Waddell sprinted over for another fine score which Ker converted.

Boroughmuir were beaten 20-7 by Glasgow Academy in the final of the plate competition.

George Watson’s: A Anderson (T Bloomfield 38); P Fulton, A Nash, B di Rollo (C Aitken 65), C Waddell; M Ker, R Snedden; N Hardman, J Buncle, S Preston, A Hosie, C Masson (A Rowe 38), L di Rollo, F Boyd, N Mitchell (H Leitch 33).

Merchiston Castle: D Brown; C Johnston (R Jacobs 66), M Rainey (D McKerchar 57), J Colver, R McClymont; S Hadden, S Biggart; R Laing (O Tomaszczyk 51) , C Koo, D Moussa, C Daniels, R Clark, D Brown, T Yellowlees, B Dunnett.

Referee: G Davies (Fettes).

Scorers: Watson’s: Tries: Fulton, B di Rollo, Waddell. Conversions: Ker (3).

Merchiston Castle: Tries: Duncan Brown (2), McClymont (3), Hadden, Doug Brown, Clark. Conversions: Hadden (2).

FOR the third year in a row holders Murrayfield Wanderers have been drawn against Edinburgh rivals and League champions Royal High, formerly Edinburgh Academicals, in the second round of the women’s Scottish Cup on Sunday, February 24.

Draw: SWRU Scottish Women’s Cup, Second Round: Annan v Kirkcaldy; Glasgow Southern v Glasgow University; Lismore v Watsonians; Murrayfield Wanderers (holders) v Royal High; RDVC or Melrose v Edinburgh University; Strathmore or Berwick v Duns. Bye: Hillhead Jordanhill, Aberdeenshire Quines. (Ties to be played on 24 Feb).