South Argyll Schools dig out hard-fought win

SA’S scrum half Calum Patterson making the big hit to stop the Boclair attack
SA’S scrum half Calum Patterson making the big hit to stop the Boclair attack

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Regional schools quaich
South Argyll 28 – Boclair/Bearsden 24

An Argyll schools rugby team produced an impressive performance to grind out a hard-fought victory against East Dunbartonshire opposition.

South Argyll Schools (SAS) under-16 boys team, made up of players from Lochgilphead, Tarbert and Campbeltown high school pupils competed in their final regional schools quaich group game of the season against Boclair/Bearsden on Thursday November 28.

After St Thomas Aquinas failed to raise a team for the first game of the group, SAS were then narrowly beaten away to Lomond School and at home to Shawlands Academy. The games were well contested, and the Argyll boys could have won both games. Two lapses of concentration against Lomond let them in for easy tries and only two points separated the teams in the Shawlands game at the end, when SAS had been in the lead for large parts of the match.

The whole team thought it was important to finish the group with a good home win.

The boys set out their stall early at MacRae Park when a contested ruck ended with a good turnover from SAS number seven McLean and a great pass out to winger Gritten from number eight McColl-Smith, who then released MacKay. The full back ran 80 yards to score under the posts and then convert his own try.

SAS were next on the score sheet when Captain Donald Self went over the whitewash. MacKay converted and SAS were 14 – 0 up.

Some good play from both teams was making for a great game, enjoyed by a large home crowd. Pupils were given the chance to watch the game and they made their voices heard and, spurred on by the crowd, Euan MacArthur was next on the score sheet and once again MacKay converted the try.

The first half finished 21-0 to the home team.

The second half started with Boclair coming back at SAS and, after some good running, they pulled a try back.

SAS found themselves under sustained pressure and soon Boclair had a second try. Only one try was converted, and the score was 21-12. Another try, this one converted, for Boclair and the pressure was really on.

South Argyll thought they had secured the game when Ellis went over and grounded the ball only to realise he had gone over the dead ball line. No try and the pressure was on again. Minutes later, after some great forward work to turn the ball over, McArthur again went over for South Argyll’s fourth try. Another two points from MacKay made the score 28-19.

After the restart Boclair went all out to get another score. Great defensive work from the SA backs kept Boclair out for a sustained period of attack until, with only seconds to go, the scored their fourth try.

As the conversion attempt fell short the final whistle blew and South Argyll celebrated a hard-fought win.

While South Argyll didn not get out of the group stages they can be very pleased with third place,only one point behind second spot.