MARR secured the National One title for the second time in three years with a comprehensive demolition of hapless Gala at Fullarton Park on Saturday. They scored nine tries in a one-sided encounter through Ollie Rossie, Ewan Hamilton-Bulger,brothers Scott and Conor Bickerstaff,William Farquhar, Findlay Hazel,Ross Miller and a brace from Richard Dalgleish in a 57-8 victory, which kept them ahead of second-placed Jed-Forest in the final re-arranged of this league campaign.
“It was a nervous start but the sun was out and to win in front of our own fans was brilliant,” said Marr’s influential No 8 Miller. “We turned it on and scored some great tries and we’re over the moon to get the victory and win the league title.”Jed kept the pressure on at the top of the table with a bonus point 29-40 victory away to Musselburgh but having started the day three points behind they were relying on Marr to slip-up, and it was the beaten home side who were popping the champagne corks at Stoneyhill on Saturday night instead, having secured promotion back into the top flight for the first time in 33-years.
League restructuring next season to accommodate the SRU’s controversial new Super 6 league means that the top six clubs in National One will go up to the Premiership this summer, and Musselburgh’s four-try bonus point edged them ahead of Gala into that final spot.
“It is a fantastic achievement by the club, from the committee all the way down,” said Musselburgh head coach Graeme Paterson. “The players have earned the opportunity to test themselves at a higher level, and I’m delighted for them because they have created a bit of history for the club.
“The hard work starts now – but we’re really looking forward to it. There will obviously be an extra buzz going into pre-season and a real drive to raise our standards because we are in no doubt that it is going to be a really tough but rewarding experience.”
This means that next year’s Premiership will consist of the four Premiership clubs excluded from Super 6 (Currie Chieftains, Edinburgh Accies, Glasgow Hawks and Hawick), plus the top six teams in National One (Marr, Jed-Forest, GHA, Aberdeen Grammar, Selkirk and Musselburgh).
Meanwhile, Aberdeen Grammar came out on top in a ferocious National League Cup Final against Highland at Bridgehaugh, with the men from the Granite City battling back from 10 down midway through the first half to secure a comfortable 10-26 win, thanks to tries from Tom Morrison, Bryn Perrott and Tom Aplin, plus a penalty try and two conversions from Perrott.
“Full credit to Highland, I thought they were superb with the physical challenge they produced, and we’re really happy to finish in fairly dominant fashion after a really tight game,” said Grammar head coach Ali O’Connor. “We anticipated that they would really come at us in that first 20-minutes, and the crowd support they had was absolutely superb which clearly geed them on. But we came back into it when we tightened things up and cut out the errors, and that ultimately won the day for us.”
Boroughmuir lifted the Hawick Sevens after defeating Edinburgh Accies 26-5 in the final at Mansfield Park.