Club Rugby Round Up – 8th September

As far as shocks go, Heriots win at the Greenyards is by far the biggest of this fledgling Premiership Rugby season so far.  I don’t think there are many rugby people outside of Goldenacre who would have predicted a bonus point win for Heriots at the home of the Scottish champions. Especially when Melrose took an early 22-8 lead and with the likes of Fraser Thompson (rught) and Andrew Skeen looking increasingly dangerous all the signs were gloomy. But to the obvious delight of coaches Steve Lawrie and Phil Smith, Heriots were able to turn the screw and come back to sensationally win 36-29 through a last minute try from returning star Max Learmonth.

This eye-catching result may have stolen the thunder from Ayr slightly, who recorded a solidly impressive win on the road at Gala. This time Ayr turned to their pack to grind out a win and poor discipline and too many turnovers allowed Ayr to rummle to a 24-19 win to remain ominously unbeaten after three fixtures.

Elsewhere there was a perfunctory home win for Dundee HSFP over Boroughmuir 31-10 but Currie were taken to the wire by Aberdeen at Malleny Park eventually squeaking out a 39-37 win and a similar story for Stirling who edged out Edinburgh Accies 39-37. Accies coach Simon Cross must be hugely frustrated not to have a win under his belt this season despite only showing a -4 points difference.

Into the National League and it was another impressive win for Glasgow Hawks this time at home to Kelso 38-9.  After losing six players in the summer due to relegation Hawks have started better than most predicted. Selkirk and Hawick both won at home over Hamilton and Hillhead/Jordanhill respectively and the big Edinburgh derby went the way of Watsonians as they beat Stew Mel 16-12 at Inverleith. Good news for Jed too as they bounced back from last weeks humiliation at Myreside to beat beleaguered Biggar 20-13 at Riverside Park. Deke Armstrong will be a man under pressure as Biggar have failed to win any of their opening three fixtures so far despite spending big in the off-season.

The Championship League A is going to be a closely fought championship this year. GHA still look good and eeked out a 32-20 win over West but Whitecraigs remain in pole position with a third successive win, this time 37-21 over Ardrossan at home. Cartha are the other unbeaten side and had to work hard against Dumfries at home, eventually winning 29-13. In Championship League B Musselburgh recorded the result of the day with a thumping 81-12 home win over Perthshire with flying winger James Murray to the fore. Howe of Fife are growing in strength too and impressively saw off Lasswade away 59-28. Haddington and Hawick YM shared a sensational 28-28 draw to come away with a bonus point a piece.

In the regional leagues Aberdeenshire took the local honours against Gordonians by a single point in a sensational 33-32 win. Panmure continue their good form by winning away at Kinross 34-26. Livingston, RHC and Preston Lodge all clocked up a second win against Duns, Berwick and Portobello respectively. Forresters beat Lismore 39-22 in the Edinburgh derby and Edinburgh Northern will be delighted to come away from Gala YM with a 22-18 win. Marr continue their impressive form  with a 41-6 home win over Helensburgh and Annan had a huge 48-0 away win at Cumbernauld.

Heriots have certainly cast the cat amongst the pigeons with that win at the Greenyards but watch out for Ayr, they’re beginning to look unstoppable.

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Journalist and rugby player for @LangholmRugby and the @PigbariansRFC, please follow @brodiesmithers