Sarah Beaney Cup: Hills win it with last-gasp try

Megan Gaffney of Hillhead Jordanhill scores the winning try against RHC Cougars in the Sarah Beaney Cup final. Picture: SNS
Megan Gaffney of Hillhead Jordanhill scores the winning try against RHC Cougars in the Sarah Beaney Cup final. Picture: SNS
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A LAST-MINUTE try from centre Megan Gaffney gave Hillhead/Jordanhill a dramatic 22-20 victory over RHC Cougars in yesterday’s Sarah Beaney Cup final at Murrayfield and clinched them the double.

Trailing 20-17 heading in to the last 60 seconds, the Glasgow side mounted one last attack and Gaffney managed to dive over the line and win it for them in the most amazing circumstances.

The game started quite cagily with both sides getting used to the big pitch at the national stadium.

However, it burst in to life in the eighth minute when RHC were awarded a kickable penalty. Scrum-half Louise Dalgliesh hit the post, but her forwards reacted quickly to pounce on the ball. It was then shipped out to the backs and centre Sarah Dixon took advantage of the Hills defence being unorganised and scored a try on the left which was unconverted.

Hills were trying to get in to things, but as the first quarter of the match came and went they were still struggling to get in to the RHC half with too many basic mistakes being made. And it was RHC who extended their lead in the 24th minute with an almost carbon copy of their first try.

This time Dixon fumbled a pass from her team mate which then came of her knee and she managed to collect it at the second attempt. She then showed great pace to go round a couple of defenders and dive in at the corner. Again the try was unconverted.

It was all the Edinburgh club at this stage and as the half entered the last five minutes they were still camped in the Hills half. However, in a flash, Hills managed to get themselves back into the game.

Good runs from full-back Sarah Smith and Gaffney got them close to the RHC line and then prop Heather Lockhart, a Scotland stalwart who was later named player of the match, barged her way over for an unconverted try. And but for some great defence, Gaffney would have added a second to level the match.

The try and pressure changed the complexion of the match and left it tightly poised heading in to the second half.

It was no surprise that Hills, with their tails up, did level things up in the 44th minute when replacement Linda McLean went over in the corner, just getting the ball down before being clattered by a defender. In the 51st minute, Hill’s back-row Jade Konkel was yellow carded for a high tackle and RHC tried to capitalise on their extra player.

With three minutes of the sin-bin remaining, Neary set up Dixon and she went on a mazy run down the wing but was stopped just short of the try line. Just as Konkel returned to the fray, Dalgliesh kicked a penalty and then a couple of minutes later she scored and converted a try putting RHC 20-10 up with 15 minutes remaining.

With nine minutes remaining, Hills got their third try of the afternoon through scrum-half Jenny Taylor and when the same player converted there were just three points in it at 20-17.

Then came Gaffney’s late winner.

Earlier in the day Morgan won the Bowl and Melrose picked up the Plate on the back pitches. In the Bowl match, Morgan saw off the students from Glasgow University 19-12 while the Plate final was a cracker as Melrose eventually took the silverware back to the Greenyards after a 35-19 win over Stirling County, Gillian Inglis being named the player of the match.