West of Scotland - 12 v 15 - Boroughmuir
U16 National Bowl Final at Lasswade RFC
Boroughmuir team: Aaron Gilfillan; Stephen Pearson, Sam Yawayawa, Andrew Terry, Simon Orr; David Robertson, Callum Costello; Struan Maidment, Jack Robertson, Abdel Bilal, Jacob Beckmann, James Grant, Michael Luff, Callum Keane and Magnus Finlayson.
Replacements: Calum Hare, Ross MacAndrew, Ewan Lancashire and Kelvin Chen.
Having just played their semi-final against Selkirk on Friday night, it was a big ask for our U16's to take on a final less than 48 hours after. West of Scotland had spent the season playing in the National League and they were confident that they could beat a team from the regional leagues. However Boroughmuir were determined to put in a strong performance, even although the bench was depleted due to injuries and half term. After Friday’s snow storm before our semi on the Murrayfield 3G, the weather at Lasswade was sunny although, as usual, the wind howled down from the hills along the length of the pitch.
West camped in our half and only dogged defence kept them from scoring, but eventually the defence got sucked in and West exploited the space on the wing to score. The conversion was missed and Boroughmuir realised it was high time they had their hands on the ball. It was quickly apparent that West had done their homework on us, with try-scoring machine Sam attracting the attention of 2 or 3 tacklers every time he got his hands on the ball. Eventually we got into the West 22 and decided to stay there. Despite huge pressure, with Sam even trying to jump over the defence rather than running through them and West conceding penalty after penalty, we couldn’t break through. The ref blew the whistle for half time with the score 5 nil to West.
Although the West forwards were strong, slowly our forwards were getting the better of them. Our scrum was performing well, with Abdel winning the battle against his opposite number and the rolling maul was an effective weapon that we’d used well on previous occasions. Forward pressure eventually told with Struan crashing over for our first try, and with the conversion being successful, we were finally in front 7-5. West continued to repeat infringements and these eventually led to their lock taking one for the team with a 10 minute rest. The extra space gave our speedy backs the opportunity to run at them. This time it was West’s turn to defend doggedly, until again our forwards pressure told with Keano scoring, but the conversion attempt went wide. 12 -5 to Boroughmuir and the tension was increasing. West came back though, and they soon scored again, successfully converting to take the score to 12-12 and an even higher level of tension.
This was the time for cool heads, concentration and keeping the ball through the phases. Captain Jack was having a good game in both scrum and loose, but his leadership was outstanding. Keeping his team focused on the task and telling them to be patient when it mattered, eventually West conceded yet another penalty. Jack decided that with the wind at our backs, this one was kickable. Despite the pressure, Kelvin obliged with a beautiful kick straight through the posts with 6 minutes to go. 6 minutes of nail biting nerves for the Boroughmuir parents and spectators, but total concentration from Boroughmuir – West barely getting their hands on the ball until the ref blew the final whistle and it was all over. 15 -12 to Boroughmuir and the green and blue eruption drowned out the sound system. The boys went off to get their hard earned winners medals and Kelvin scooped the man of the match award.
Boroughmuir u16s head coach, Peter Wood said: “I’m delighted for the boys. They went from winning nothing last year to lifting the National Bowl and they beat some good teams to get here. I thought the game was very even from start to finish and it came down to a few chances for both sides and we took one extra chance in that last penalty.”
Special thanks to Q-Mass for helping out with the costs of the final; Robbie and u15s Lee, Jack and Finlay for ball-boying straight after their match; Chris Pacey; the Hepburns and everyone who came to Lasswade to support us. A fantastic weekend for Boroughmuir!