Tennent’s Premiership



By Matt Vallance

CAPTAIN David Sole’s leadership, not least his decision to walk his side onto Murrayfield for the 1990 Grand Slam, Calcutta Cup win over England is part of Scottish Rugby folklore. On Saturday, at Fullarton, his son Jamie gave another brilliant example of the Sole leadership powers, as he inspired Edinburgh Academical to a come from behind to draw 20-20 with Marr.

This result meant, after six straight bonus-point wins, the Marr juggernaut hit the buffers, or to be precise, were undone by Sole’s fantastic work at the breakdown and his inspiring leadership. The result was a wake-up call for us,” said Marr Coach Craig Redpath.

“We made too-many mistakes, but, fair play to Accies – they came with a game plan, they stuck to it and stopped us from playing. We only played well in patches; we have work to do before Ayr on Saturday. “ Yellow cards also played a big part. Marr locks, Ewan Hamilton-Bulger in the first half and Fraser Grant in the second, spent time on the naughty step. For Accies, Sean Crombie and lock Declan Dennen were also sent to the sin bin by referee Finlay Brown. Twenty-five of the 40 points were scored at a time when the side conceding the scores was short-handed. Jamie Loomes kicked Accies ahead with the penalty after Hamilton-Bulger saw yellow, before Benedict Grant crashed over and Colin Sturgeon converted to make it 7-3 to Marr. Crombie’s yellow card then allowed Sturgeon to stretch the Marr lead with a penalty; and after Dinnen joined Crombie on the naughty step, Gregor Ness completed a slick handling move, Sturgeon again added the extras and Marr led 17-3 at the break. Accies were barely back to full strength before Sturgeon’s second penalty put Marr 20-3 up with less than half an hour left. However Fraser Grant’s yellow card changed things, suddenly Accies were on the front foot and Max Love crashed over, Loomes converted. Not even Grant’s return could stem the tide and with eight minutes left, lock Angus Inwood crashed over for Accies. Will Stephen levelled and Accies held firm. Meanwhile all roads lead to Millbrae on Saturday in arguably the biggest game of the season in Ayrshire Rugby, as Scottish Cup holders Ayr face Tennent’s Premiership leaders Marr, in the tie of the first round. For the first time, Marr start favourites.