Borders & East Lothian 32-26 Caledonia

The victorious Borders and East Lothian Under 18s team who  won the Scottish Regional championship on the international pitch at Murrayfield on Saturday
The victorious Borders and East Lothian Under 18s team who won the Scottish Regional championship on the international pitch at Murrayfield on Saturday

The Borders and east Lothian under 18s won the Scottish Regional championship on the international pitch at Murrayfield on Saturday.

A week past Friday, in a qualifying match, Caledonia came out on top with a 27-17 win at Netherdale, but in the intervening week, the Borders and EL worked hard at their game for the deciding match against the same opponents.

Patrick Anderson (Melrose) enjoyed his day with the early try to open the scoring. He repeated the feat after 20 minutes but it was the Caley side which held a narrow half time lead by 14-13 due to two tries and their greater success with goal kicks as Robbie Yourston (Jed Thistle) had only had one successful penalty just before the break.

Another Anderson try just after half time regained the lead for the Borders. The conversion was successful. The gap was stretched further when captain Cameron Hutchison (North Berwick) forced his way over. The conversion attempt hit the post and the worry was that this could come back to haunt the Borders.

It does not take long to overcome an 11 point deficit and that was precisely what Caley did with 12 points in 5 minutes to regain the lead. Going into the last 10 minutes, and with almost all of the replacements on, it was a nervy affair but pressure by the Borders took them up to the Caley line, and in best sniping Borders scrum half fashion, Nik Stingl (Kelso) dodged over for the final try of the game. The conversion by Yourston was good and the Borders were now six points clear.

They managed to hold out for the win and the trophy was theirs.

All in all, it was a gutsy performance and the culmination of a hard few months preparation which started in early August.

The improvement in some of the players was clear to see with this fine performance on the big stage.