Friday night Premiership rugby attracted a decent crowd to see how two resurgent teams might square up to each other. Both had started the season dismally with two defeats but then found a bit of consistency and rhythm in their next two.
Heriot’s, in particular, came into last night’s match on a 12-try high, having destroyed Hawick six days previously. They did not find it nearly so easy against their city rivals but, ultimately, three tries sealed the victory.
Watsonians missed the chance to go ahead after eight minutes when the first penalty of the game put them within kicking range but stand-off Andrew Chalmers’ attempt slipped past.
But the score came soon afterwards after the home team soaked up some pressure and Rory Hutton broke away to sidestep into space and time the final pass perfectly to put blindside and Scotland 7s international Michael Fedo over beside the posts. Chalmers converted and then added a 40-metre penalty.
Heriot’s harried and carried but couldn’t make much of a dent in a resilient Watsonians defensive line. But they stuck doggedly to the task and earned a penalty try when Watsonians scrum-half Willie Thomson was yellow carded for an obstruction that prevented a certain score.
The second half began with Heriot’s pressing hard and Watsonians committing more mistakes in a few minutes than they had in the whole first 40. It was a real dogfight among the forwards with neither pack able to get the upper hand and play largely confined to midfield. The game was crying out for a moment of inspiration that finally came after a sustained assault on the Watsonians line that ended with Jack Turley stretching ahead just far enough to get the touch down on the line. Chalmers converted.
Watsonians didn’t deserve to be behind but they were tiring and Heriot’s seemed to be growing stronger. Stand-off Stuart Edwards turned the screw with a 35-metre drop goal to make it 10-17.
The score spurred Watsonians on but Heriot’s made the tackles and snuffed out any promising moves as the clock ran down. Scrum-half Tom Wilson, pictured, went over at an angle for a third try right on the final whistle.