DEFENDING champions Jedburgh Grammar School have kept their hold on the Brewin Dolphin Scottish School Under-16 Plate, writes Alan Lorimer.
But they will have to share it, after drawing with Bell-Baxter High School in the final of the competition on the back pitch at Murrayfield on Tuesday night.
The strict rule on how many minutes can be played at this age level meant that there was no extra time and not for the first time in the competition the title was shared.
“I knew about the rules, but I think the crowd expected that the game would go to extra time,” said Jed coach Kevin Barrie. “We arrived with the trophy and went away with it – for six months, anyway.”
A draw was probably the right result in a match between two quality teams, although, it has to be said, Jed created more opportunities and had a try disallowed, notably a marginally-forward pass that denied inside centre Robbie Yourston an early score.
By contrast, Bell-Baxter made no mistake when tight-head prop Marc Duncan grabbed the game’s opening try and with confidence growing the Cupar school looked set to score again, thwarted only by a try-saving tackle from Jed back row Kieran Slingsby.
Having absorbed early pressure from Bell-Baxter, Jed took control, Yourston kicking a penalty goal and then scrum-half Gary Munro, named man-of-the-match, crossing from close range to give his side a 10-5 interval lead.
Early in the second half, openside flanker John Feeney extended Jed’s lead with a try, but Baxters hit back with a touchdown from their exciting full back Kieran Bremner, converted by centre Callum Harris, who then slotted a last-minute penalty to level the scores.
Jedburgh GS: R. Douglas; J. Amos, R. Smith, R. Yourston, C. Young; E. Stewart, G. Munro; G. Clarkson, O. Ryan, A. Richardson, D. Wardrop, N. Arnold, K. Slingsby, J. Feeney, G. Paxton. Subs: F. Scott, N. Slingsby, P. Bowie, R. Redpath, P. Kelly, S. Smith, S. Hogg.