The Highlanders and their loyal home support enjoyed this fine win over Rosslyn Park in the autumn sunshine after Esher Academy withdrew from the scheduled league fixture. Scottish built up an early lead, then let Park into the game as injuries took their toll, but reasserted themselves to secure the victory.
Scottish started promisingly with MacArthur breaking blind to set up good chance, and then Sanders broke through the middle but the potential scoring pass to Perrin went to ground. However, the score wasn’t delayed for long, as MacArthur took a quick tap penalty on the Park 22 and put the supporting Calder in under the posts.
Three minutes later Scottish doubled their lead as May charged off a scrum and opened up a gap for Sanders to score, but Sanders had to retire soon after with an injured leg. Nevertheless, Scottish maintained their momentum and MacArthur nipped in from 30 metre down the touchline, with Webber converting from wide out. This prompted a strong response from Park who moved the ball well down the line for their outside centre to score.
On the half-hour Park lost a player to the sin bin for blatantly coming round offside to take MacArthur out from the base of a ruck on the Park line. Then Webber was held up over the line as Park managed to hold out and progress to the Scottish half. Park then maintained possession through multiple phases and Scottish defended for over four and half minutes of continuous play before a perspiring referee was able to blow his whistle for half-time.
The second half saw Scottish pressing from the restart, but when the ball went loose, the Park outside centre ran in his second try from 70 metres. Persistent Park pressure brought them their third try five minutes later to close the gap to just four points. Despite losing Hawkes with an injured shoulder, Scottish consolidated and ten minutes later MacArthur went over from short range for his second try. Park had most of the remaining play, but Scottish, with great defence and ball-winning on the floor from man of the match Hamish Coventry, held on fairly comfortably for their well-earned win.
Team: 15 Charlie Marchant-Rowe; 14 Pete Bremner, 13 Ollie Blazey, 12 Dan Sanders, 11 Aaron Perrin; 10 Adam Webber, 9 Tom MacArthur; 8 Stuart May, 7 Denis Gibson, 6 Hamish Coventry; 5 Gavin Calder, 4 Alex Hawkes; 3 Paul Webster, 2 Marcus Bailey, 1 David Greene.
Replacements: Carlo Castaldo, Eliot Fallon.
Tries: Calder, Sanders, MacArthur 2; Conversions: Webber 4.
Scoring sequence: 7-0 (9 mins), 14-0 (12), 21-0 (22), 21-7 (26); 21-12 (50), 21-17 (55), 28-17 (65).
Conditions: Sunny and still. RAG Pitch 2 in good nick.