BT National League One
JED-FOREST RFC 17
MARR RUGBY 38
HIGH-flying Marr delivered their best performance of the season to date and claim a bonus point win for their effort.
Second-placed Edinburgh Accies also won so the league positions remain unchanged with Marr holding a four-point advantage with both sides having two matches to play to complete the season.
This match was do-or=die for both sides.
Marr sought to maintain their slender advantage as league leaders while Jed needed a win to keep them on track as anb outside runner for the play-off place. Marr’s previous visits to Riverside Park had ended in home wins therefore the home support expected a similar result. Little did they realise that this Marr side has been learning as they go. Recent results, performances and guidance from head coach Craig Redpath led to them delivering the most cohesive and comprehensive performance of the season to date.
Marr’s preparations were disrupted as Andrew Acton failed to recovery from injury sustained at Selkirk. As the coaching team considered options for cover Andy Kelly made another return from retirement and he went on bounce and rumble about the park as lively and energetic as a spring lamb.
From the kick-off Marr took the game by the scruff of the neck.
Quickly it became apparent that Marr held the advantage in set-piece play. For most of the opening quarter they laid siege to Jed Forest’s line, only to be held at bay by determined defending with no or little quarter being given. Marr showed good composure and patience as they steadily applied pressure. Ultimately they were rewarded with the opening try, scoring at the end of the first quarter. Marr won a scrum against the head and Scott Bickerstaff was brought into midfield play. As he was stopped, quick recycling allowed Colin Sturgeon to find the whitewash. As Marr pressed to add a second Jed gave a sharp reminder of their capabilities when a rare foray into Marr territory led to a try from Gregor Young.
Marr then quickly doubled their try score as Dan Law finished off an attack that followed a turnover ball from an under pressure Jed scrum. From the restart Marr continued the onslaught and Jed were forced into desperate defence. Just before half-time they were reduced to 14 men as Lewis Young was yellow carded for a slap down to prevent a Marr score. Marr capitalised on the extra man as Scott Bickerstaff scored in the corner.
At the start of the second half Marr continued as they had left off. Dan Law added his second and Marr’s try number four. This was quickly followed by a fifth as Colin Sturgeon cut loose. Jed finally managed to get some parity in possession and started to further test Marr’s defence. Line breaks were made but Marr’s cover defence was secure.
Jed made the most of two opportunities late on to score as they tried to get some reward for their efforts. Marr closed out the match with Tom Steven blasting through the defence and scoring under the posts.
BT Reserve West One
HAMILTON RFC 29
MARR RUGBY 24
MARR 2's run of wins came to an end as Hamilton edged out winners by a single score in a close fought contest. Earlier in the season in the reverse fixture Marr had overwhelmed Hamilton and the home side was much changed as they raised their game to avenge this defeat. As the lead swung back and forward Hamilton gained a major advantage in as Marr were reduced to 14 men after Rudi Marshall was yellow carded in the first half then early in the second received a further yellow and consequently took no further part.
Hamilton made the most of the advantage and opened up a lead but Marr showed real grit and determination to secure four tries and the rewards of a try and losing bonus point. This puts Marr into an unassailable position with three matches remaining.
Marr Rugby 2nd XV man of the match – Kris Kirk/.
Next fixtures (SaturdayMarch 25– 1s Home v Musselburgh (league); 2s – away v Dalziel (league)