1st XV v Marr RFC
By Hugh Barrow
Hawks make semi final
Glasgow Hawks progressed to the semi-final stages of the BT Cup after overcoming Marr 36-18 at Fullarton Park on Saturday.
The BT Premiership side, who narrowly missed out on a top four play-off spot this season, scored six tries to defeat their BT National League Division 1 opponents.
Marr utilised terrific home support to secure two tries but it was Hawks who found space out wide to claim four tries in the first-half, with the momentum of the game remaining in favour of the visitors.
Glasgow Hawks coach, Gary Mercer, said: “I was really impressed by the team’s accuracy and speed of game, we scored some accurate and quality tries.”
“You have got to credit Marr as they are a good outfit and well coached, that’s why they are doing so well in the BT National League 1.”
We are going to hit some of the big BT Premiership teams in the semi-final of the BT Cup, whom we have been very competitive with all year, and if we continue to play well we are in with a chance of securing a place in the final.”
It was the home side who got the scoring underway in the seventh minute with a penalty in front of the posts from Colin Sturgeon after an infringement in the scrum.
However, Hawks soon found space in the wide channels with effective link play between Robert Beattie and McGroarty finding Sean Yacoubian in support for a try in the right corner after 15 minutes. Josh Henderson adding the extras with the boot.
Ten minutes later, the visitors extended their lead with similar play down the left wing, Beattie sending the pass along the line to Kiran McDonald who found McGroarty for the run in before Henderson converted.
Sturgeon made the most of another penalty opportunity to keep the hosts ticking over but Hawks continued to search for space down the left with scores from McGroarty and Yacoubian coming within minutes of one another.
Marr impressed in the loose and on the stroke of half-time it was Pearce Mackensive who barged his way over following an impressive driving maul, Sturgeon converting.
After the break, Beattie received from Finlay Gillies and found space once again to provide the inside ball to McGroarty for a captain’s hat-trick in the 44th minute.
The home side came to life in the second-half with some impressive work from stand-off Craig Kolarik and replacement Fraser Grant causing the Hawks' defence some trouble.
However, the Hawks forwards mounted an attack in the 60th minute which lead to a try for Andrew Hill off the back of a driving maul in the left corner.
Marr continued with fighting spirit and were rewarded with their second score of the game, Scott Bickerstaff darting past a couple of defenders to offload to Andy Kelly who crashed over left of the posts before Sturgeon hit the uprights in the 64th minute.
The game remained tight in the final stages but despite Marr’s efforts, the final whistle recognised Hawks as the victors.
Marr will now focus on their quest for promotion from the BT National League Division 1 on Saturday as they host Jed-Forest, who sit below them in third.
Elsewhere in the BT Cup quarter-final draw, Melrose edged out fellow BT Premiership outfit Currie 25-21 at Malleny Park.
Heriot’s secured their semi-final place with a comprehensive 74-18 win over BT National League Division 2 outfit Cartha Queens Park at Goldenacre and Ayr put 60 points past BT National League Division 3 table toppers GHK at Millbrae.
Marr: Gregor Ness; Scott Bickerstaff, Aaron Rankin, Colin Sturgeon, Stuart Howie; Craig Kolarik, Grant Baird, Pieter Kilian, Stephen Adair CAPTAIN, Andy Kelly, Zane Burn, Kris Kirk, Mackenzie Pearce, Angus Johnston, Ben Johnston. Replacements: William Farquhar, Ollie Rossi, Fraser Ferguson, Fraser Grant, Kyle Vallance, Andrew Mill, Andrew Gault.
Glasgow Hawks: Sean Yacoubian; Robert Beattie, Brendan McGroarty CAPTAIN, Max Macfarlane, Kerr Gossman; Josh Henderson, Adam Lowrie; Steven Findlay, Grant Stewart, Brendan Cullinane, Andrew Linton, Kiran McDonald, Finlay Gillies, Stephen Leckey, Andrew Hill. Replacements: Jack Macfarlane, Gary Strain, Andrew Redmayne, Kenny Beattie, Paul Ramsay.
Referee: Lloyd Linton