However, he has conceded that Saturday’s 23-22 loss was not the reason for the club’s current predicament, saying: “There’s a number of games that we’ve lost by a point here and a point there. We just have to get on with it.”
None of his team’s results could have been as tough to endure as Saturday’s reverse against a Heriot’s side still firmly on track for a place in next season’s British & Irish Cup.
Two tries by Ross Bradford and one for Stevie Wilson plus seven points from the boot of Ally Warnock had Boroughmuir 22-3 ahead with half an hour to play. That was a fair reward for the home side who looked set to yield only a fourth win of the campaign.
However, Heriot’s, who had beaten ’Muir in the reverse fixture seven days earlier, gradually ratcheted up the pressure. A self-converted try from Graham Wilson, who had scored his side’s first-half points with a penalty, ignited the fight back. Mike Penn then touched down as the momentum turned firmly in favour of the visitors and a second penalty from Wilson cut the deficit to four points.
A determined effort by ’Muir kept their opponents out until deep into injury time when Penn sparked a breakout and his second involvement in the move was to provide the scoring pass for Colin Goudie whose try left Pringle’s men shattered.
“The guys really fronted up – I can’t fault the effort,” said the coach. “We dropped off in the second half and we made a few mistakes. To be 22-3 up then lose is going to hurt the boys.”
The result means that the best ’Muir can hope for is wins in each of their two remaining matches – at Stirling and home to Edinburgh Accies – and a place in the relegation play-off. Heriot’s now sit third ahead of their trip to face Currie on the final day of the season.
Their coach Phil Smith – who moved from ’Muir to Heriot’s at the end of last season – paid tribute to the determined effort of the home side but was in no doubt that his players merited their success in another outstanding RBS Premiership encounter. “We deserved to win. They played really well but we played better,” said Smith. “The disappointment was that we didn’t get four tries.”
Elsewhere, Haddington’s hopes of avoiding the relegation play-off in the RBS Championship were boosted with a 44-20 win away to Hawick YM. The East Lothian men are not yet safe, however, as fellow strugglers Perthshire squeezed home 31-30 against Musselburgh.
Meanwhile, Murrayfield Wanderers offered a stern test for title chasers Peebles before going down 39-29, and Lasswade were 21-8 winners away to basement side Morgan Academy.