Borders clubs came off second best in three of four youth finals at Murrayfield on Tuesday night, writes Alan Lorimer.
Gala Wanderers had hoped to end the dominance of Stirling County in the Under-18 Youth Cup final, but in the event the Bridgehaugh side demonstrated why they are such a formidable club at this age level as they swept to a 29-5 victory.
“We never really got going in the first half,” said Wanderers’ coach, Shane Hawkins, who is a veteran of the club’s last cup-winning team back in 1990.
Against a Stirling side that appeared stronger in most areas of the game, Wanderers found themselves 17-0 down at the break.
Stirling then increased their lead with a try from a driving maul, but that triggered a response from Wanderers, who hit back with a fine break by Josh Irvine, leading eventually to a try by stand-off Ruairi Howarth, the Borderers’ only points of the match.
In the Under-16 Cup final, Currie produced a stylish performance to defeat Hawick Albion 37-12.
The Edinburgh side notched up a six-try tally that came from powerful forward play and good handling behind the scrum, complemented by fierce tackling and massive individual contributions from their Scotland Under-16 caps Scott McGinley at no8 and Robbie Nairn, their giant-sized wing. For Hawick, centre Grant Huggan scored a good try just before half-time, their other touchdown coming from prop Fraser Renwick early in the second half.
The Under-18 Bowl final completed a hat-trick of disappointments for Borders clubs as Peebles Colts lost 29-22 to Hamilton.
Peebles were level at half-time, having scored tries by skipper Richard Harrison and centre Cameron Pye and a conversion from Murray Brown, but their opponents pulled away in the second half before Peebles staged a fightback with tries by Kieran Halliday and Scott Halliday, but not enough to stop Hamilton taking the title.