School stars on the rise

JUBILANT Stewart's/Melville captain Lewis Calder tipped colleagues Murray Allan and Adrian Duncan to go on and make a big impact in senior rugby as his side celebrated a runaway 32-0 victory over Robert Gordon's in the final of the Bell Lawrie Scottish Schools cup at Murrayfield.

The Capital outfit totally overwhelmed their rivals with six tries by Calder, Duncan, Angus Lean, Steven Noble, Nicholas Sylvan and Christy O'Donnell, who added one conversion.

And that led to predictions that this success can prove to be a launchpad for the burgeoning Stew/Mel talent.

"Adrian and Murray have what it takes to go a long way," said Calder of the No 8 and centre respectively and there were plenty in a crowd of 5469 last night who would add the captain himself to that list.

Calder, son of Scotland Grand Slam legend Jim, told his side beforehand that the opening score would prove crucial and, after 18 minutes, provided the breakthrough himself, peeling from a maul.

"I could see in the dressing room just how pumped up everybody was and it would have been easy to let out composure slip. That's why we needed to score first and keep applying the pressure which is what happened."

Coach Chris Spence hailed his side's coolness. He said: "We really worked well in offloading possession either just before or during the tackle.

"The second try by Angus Lean, which could be traced back to running a penalty in front of our own posts was typical of the interplay we've been trying to create.

"There was plenty of support on the shoulders of the ball carrier which is our type of game

"If you had told me after the first few games of the season we'd end up winning at Murrayfield I wouldn't have believed it so all credit to the team for their dedication and perseverance.

"Robert Gordon's kept at us in adding to a competition which just gets better and better."

Once both goal-kickers had seen early attempts fall short in windy conditions it was Stew/Mel who settled in.

Calder's converted opening try stemmed from a maul driven 20 metres upfield and, when Lean got over on his opposite wing to evade the cover, Stew/Mel were able to turn round 12-0 in front.

Thereafter it was one-way traffic as the quicksilver hands of centre Allan Little helped send full back O'Donnell in before stand off Steven Noble reacted quickly to his own charge-down for try No 4.

With the Northerners defence spreadeagled centre Little, my man of the match, had a major role in carving out the final two tries.He punched upfield for Duncan to power over then a well-placed kick enabled Sylvan to outstrip a rapidly-tiring rearguard.

Stew/Mel: Christy O'Donnell, Angus Lean, Murray Allan, Allan Little, Nicholas Sylvan, Steven Noble, Jamie Duguid, Angus Dixon, Niall Shannon, Sean MacKenzie, Calum Honeyman, Ross Doneghan, Cameron Mayo, Adrian Duncan, Lewis Calder, captain. Subs; Cameron Hunter, Adam Leitch, Colin Fleming, Graham Lawson, Chris McGlinchey, Ranald Henderson, Ruari Sinclair.

GALASHIELS Academy beat Robert Gordon's 21-17 in the under-15 final