East Lothian Courier

Burgh eye top-four finish after late victory

Glasgow Hawks 27 Musselburg­h 29

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IT WILL come down to the last day of the season for Musselburg­h as they aim for a top-four finish in the Premiershi­p.

A late try from Max Outram helped Musselburg­h turn the game on its head against Glasgow Hawks to move to within two points of fourth spot.

The two sides had shared an entertaini­ng 42-42 draw at Stoneyhill earlier in the season and again it was a very tight affair at Balgray.

Hawks looked to have won the game when Ryan Flett touched down with under four minutes remaining but Burgh showed their tenacity to come through in the end.

It was the hosts who got off to the perfect start as Paul Cairnross scored the opening try after just five minutes.

Fly-half Gavin Cruickshan­ks was off target with the conversion; something that would crop up again during the match.

Burgh got themselves back into the game via second-row Michael Badenhorst and Matthew Macmillan slotted home to give Musselburg­h a two-point advantage.

However, the hosts continued to look dangerous and Torquil Macleod touched down in the corner before Max Crumlish extended the Hawks lead to 10 points at 17-7.

Burgh needed something to get themselves back into the contest and they were given something of a helping hand.

A miscommuni­cation meant that Cruickshan­ks kicked the ball dead inside his own 22 but time had not yet been called by the referee.

Burgh made them pay as Badenhorst again crashed over the line and Macmillan was on target to cut the lead to three points at the interval.

Hawks came out of the blocks quickly after the restart and Fraser Muir bagged the bonus point as they again stretched their advantage.

The score was 22-14 and Burgh kept themselves in the game when pressure told.

Jack Haynes scored and the conversion was again on target as the score was narrowed to just one.

Despite Burgh’s pressure, it looked as if they would come up short when Flett touched down.

There was still time for one late twist, though, as replacemen­t Outram scored and the conversion was on target to give the East Lothian side the win.

Derek O’riordan, Musselburg­h head coach, was pleased with the win and their efforts up until the very end.

He said: “We came out of the game on the right side this time around.

“For us, going in at halftime the message was to do the simple things well and stop having single runners.

“We made it difficult for ourselves and I was a bit nervous when they scored near the end but I’m really pleased with how the boys found another try.”

Now Burgh welcome third-placed Marr to Stoneyhill on Saturday as they attempt to gatecrash the top four in the last full round of fixtures.

 ?? ?? Musselburg­h, here in action in the reverse fixture against Glasgow Hawks earlier in the season at Stoneyhill, got the win on Saturday to keep their top-four hopes alive
Musselburg­h, here in action in the reverse fixture against Glasgow Hawks earlier in the season at Stoneyhill, got the win on Saturday to keep their top-four hopes alive

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