HERIOT’S secured their place in the final of the Scottish Cup at BT Murrayfield on 16 April but the manner of their progress was bizarre, to say the least, with the decision on the winner not made until the lower reaches of the rulebook had been scrutinised.
The teams were locked at 10-10 after 80 minutes of play and then at the end of a further two 10-minute periods there was no change in the scoreline. Then came the devastating information for Hawks that in the event of such an outcome the away team would be ‘winners’.
“I feel genuinely sorry for Hawks. They had the same score as us and yet lost.” said Phil Smith, Heriot’s head coach, whose opposite, Peter Laverie admitted : “It was a tough way to go out, but that’s sport.”
In wet and windy conditions at Old Anniesland, it was Hawks who had the first chance to claim points but with his first kick of the match stand-off Jack Steele was off target with his penalty, Steele’s side then had to put all hands to the pump as Heriot’s won two penalty-created lineouts in quick succession.
A missed penalty by Heriot’s full-back John Semple was not to the liking of his side but the Goldenacre men were soon back on the attack, deploying their favourite tactic of the rolling maul from a lineout just outside the Hawks’ 22m area that ended with an unconverted try for flanker Ian Wilson
Conceding a try was bad enough for Hawks but the referee judged that Andy Linton had illegally impeded the progress of the maul and was sent to the sin-bin. It was to be the first of two yellow cards for Hawks in the first half, centre David Milne earning one for another illegal try-stopping offence as Heriot’s attempted to crush their opponents with a further driving maul.
But at the ensuing scrum Heriot’s were penalised allowing Hawks to kick the ball into touch for the final play of the half, trailing 5-0. Despite being short-handed, Hawks struck first in the second half with a peach of a try by Robert Beattie from a pass by Steele that gave the wing a clear run to the line to level at 5-5.
A try by flanker Finlay Gillies from a driving maul gave Hawks a 10-5 lead. It looked as though the score would be enough for the hosts as Heriot’s Scotland Under-20 prop was sin-binned for collapsing the scrum. But Heriot’s found extra energy to compensate for their numerical disadvantage. From a kick by replacement scrum-half Hugh Fraser, Heriot’s scored a freak try.
Hawks full-back Pierre Mounal misjudged the ball, allowing wing Charlie Simpson to touch down and force extra time with its wretched result.
Photos marked accordingly credited to Rugby People