Our 1XV rugby captain Ewan Henderson has taken pride in defeat after his side gave it everything but came up just short in the Scottish Schools Cup final against Stewart’s Melville College at BT Murrayfield last night.
In a top-quality match where the two sides really went at it, Stewart’s Melville eventually came out on top 24-14 to lift the silverware.
While obviously disappointed not to be able to bring the trophy back to Colinton Road, No.8 Henderson said: “It was not the way we wanted to end the season, but I could not be prouder to be captain of this great bunch of boys, credit to Stewart’s Melville they really played well, but we gave it everything we had.”
Head coach Ally Donaldson added: “I thought the Stewart’s Melville defence and discipline was excellent because we had a lot of possession and chances, but we just couldn’t break them down when it mattered. The boys put in a lot of effort and we couldn’t have asked for more from them.”
Stewart’s Melville went 10-0 up early on in the match, second-row Dominic Gray and then captain Duncan Hood going over for unconverted tries.
Watson’s battled their way back into it, second-row Archie Watters going very close to scoring a try. Fellow second-row Max Raitt did go over soon after with centre Euan Maguire converting to make it 10-7.
Matthew Russell, the Stewart’s Melville centre, then scored a converted try before Watson’s had some good pressure before half-time, but it remained 17-7.
Whatever was said at half time worked as we came out in the second half with renewed purpose.
Watson’s were on the front foot straight away and that led to a try from loosehead prop Conor Myles. Maguire was on hand to convert and at 17-14 it really was ‘game on’.
With 15 minutes to go Stewart’s Melville scored their fourth try through tighthead prop Kaysan Davidson, converted by Russell, to go 24-14 up.
Watson’s were not done yet though and they laid siege to the Stewart’s Melville line in the last 10 minutes only to be repelled by some great defence as Donaldson said.
George Watson’s College under-18 squad: Daniel Brown; Connall Milligan, Angus Cousin, Euan Maguire, Ryan Daly; Rory Stephen, Brodie Young; Conor Myles, Michael Cantle, Gregor Scougall, Max Raitt, Archie Watters, Chris Hardie, Tom Holmes, Ewan Henderson (C). Subs: Braydon Lynes, Jamie Ryan, Ben Gale, Luca Muscat, Chris Scullion, Alex Hastings, Zack Neill.