Highlanders Off To Flying Start

25th September 2014

The Highlanders started their Shield 1 campaign by beating Ealing Trailfinders 60-36 away at the Wasps training ground, Twyford Avenue, on the 6th of September.

They were ready to host Ampthill on the 13th of September but Ampthill could not field a full team so the game was treated as a walkover and Scottish claimed the league points but naturally loose out on a possible bonus point.

The real test however came last Saturday when the Highlanders faced a seasoned Shield 1 Blackheath 2nd team.

This is the first season that London Scottish are competing in Shield 1, since the second team at the club was disbanded to accommodate a full time professional set-up a few years ago.

The game started with the visiting Blackheath team stamping some authority on the game keeping Scottish pinned in their own half.

Scottish seemed to struggle to adapt to the physical nature of the Blackheath team, which consisted of a big pack and experienced National One campaigners, but also the pace they were playing at. 

The pressure resulted in two early penalties for Blackheath and an unconverted try 15 mins into the game and penalty for a 14-0 scoreline after 28 minutes.

Now slowly adapting to the intensity, Scottish started to stop more of the momentum but still the visitors kept coming at the Highlanders line and a good build up saw an overlap created and a simple last pass on the line was meant to go to hand for Blackheath to score in the corner, but found the juggling hands of winger, Conrad Burne, who kept his composure to control the ball and sprint the length of the pitch in the 30th minute for a try!

This was converted by fly half Young.

Scottish was contesting more in all areas of the game and after a turnover good continuity followed and a good carry by hooker, Doneghan, on the blind, set up a half gap next to the fringe on the open side for young scrum half, Calder, to exploit and feed no. 8, Brown, on a burst to beat the last defenders and score a great try bringing the half time score to 14 all.

The second half seemed to be much more of even game with both teams trying to manufacture good opportunities but Scottish growing more into the game because of their defensive effort.

A penalty on 25 minutes setup a line out 7 metres out which the Highlanders took well to form the drive which could not be stopped for young prop, Nixon, playing in the second row, to score his first try for Scottish.

The conversion was not successful.

However Blackheath got a late try to bring the scores level again with 3 minutes to play.

The Highlanders did not believe a draw was good enough and piled on the pressure for Blackheath to give away a kickable penalty from the restart.

Young stepped up and took the points on offer and the Highlanders held out for a very memorable win at home!


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