Self-belief and an outstanding will to win were two of the main contributory factors to St Boswells’ stunning BT Shield victory, according to player/coach David Cassidy.
Speaking to the assembled media after the match, the former Selkirk centre told of his pride in the team, which includes players from all over the Borders, that stormed ahead in the first half before doggedly defending their lead in the second.
“We never stopped believing in ourselves,” he said.
“To be fair to GHK, they were a great side and showed their class to stage the comeback, but our forwards were outstanding and never stopped battling.
“The experience to play here (BT Murrayfield) was something every single one of the boys loved – it’s an amazing place, and it’s some size of pitch.
“I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of the boys – we’re absolutely delighted to have come here and got the victory.”
St Boswells claimed the 2015 Shield title with a gritty performance over the unbeaten West League Division One title holders.
The Villagers, also unbeaten champions in East Division Two, got off to a dream start.
Just after a Dean McCracken penalty had bounced back off the posts, Andrew Haig found himself in the right place at the right time to receive a pass and dart his way through the GHK defence.
Waiting near the line was Gary Douglas, who received the ball and crashed over for a typical hooker’s try, with Dean McCracken making the conversion.
A good 20 minutes of stalemate ensued, mostly played in GHK’s half of the field, before St Boswells took control again. Firstly, Andrew Haig ran in a well thought out opportunist try which saw the Kelso sevens specialist intercept a GHK pass to run in unopposed. And seven minutes later Dean McCracken took the initiative to go over for a fine solo effort which he converted himself. It was the Hawick stand-off who set up try number four for Graeme Lothian to make it 24-0 at the break.
After the restart it was GHK that came out of the traps quickest. Marc Taylor touched down for a well-worked try before Haydn Parkes became the opportunist when he intercepted a sloppy pass in the Saints 22 and ran the length of the pitch to score. Scott Robertson converted the first.
A penalty from the boot of Cassidy helped ease the pressure in the 61st minute, but GHK continued to pile on the pressure. Defensively, the Boswells boys were switched on, however, and kept their opposition at bay for a lengthy spell before eventually succumbing. Jamie MacLean was credited with the pushover try which Robertson converted.
Some more desperate defending was required in the closing minutes as the Glasgow outfit fought to take the victory, but having eventually got to the final, no one was depriving St Boswells of the ultimate prize, and it was with great celebration that the ball was kicked out of play on the 80-minute mark.