Evening Times - - SWIMMING -

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.

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