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East 1: Royal High heartache as hosts snatch win at the death

3 weeks ago By Mark Brown

Broughton pushed league leaders Royal High to the wire at Barnton in a dramatic afternoon in the Tennent's East Region 1.

Broughton Head Coach spoke of the pride he had for his side despite the agony of a fine play narrow defeat at the hands of league leaders Royal High at Barnton on Saturday.

The Wardie outfit made the short trip along to the west of the capital with Johnny Wells making a long awaited return to action following his recovery from surgery.

Broughton were first out of the traps after just four minutes. A line-out on the periphery of the RH 22 saw the ball moved from Andrew Cox's hands and a well worked training ground move was executed by Matthew McKeand. Gavin Tainsh adding the extras to give the visitors an early 0-7 lead.

With a quarter of the match gone, the Referee when down in some pain and despite the assistance of both home and visiting physios, his afternoon was abruptly halted. Faced with the potential of a rescheduled match during the Autumn Internationals or worse, after a bit of gentle persuasion, Simon Turner, spectating from the sidelines, made the dash home for kit.

Forty minutes later, action got back underway. The 'second' kick-off saw an outcome similar to the first with a Broughton try. Gavin Tainsh with a cheeky grubber and it was his brother Andrew who was on hand to win the footrace to touch down in the corner.

On the stroke of half time, Broughton further extended their lead. Gavin Tainsh beating off the attentions of two defenders to dive over the line.

HT: Royal High 0-19 Broughton

The second half started out in a similar fashion to the first, only for the opening try to be scored in the same side of the park by the hosts after pressure in the now, increasingly windier, corner.

It didn't take long for the Royal High side to continue to narrow the deficit and a score in almost the identical square of turf pulled it back to 14-19.

Cometh the hour, cometh the completed comeback for the Barnton boys as three converted unanswered tries saw them take the lead for the first time.

Just eight minutes were left on the clock when Broughton regained the lead. An interception by Andrew Tainsh as Royal High mounted another attack saw the full back race home from some 60 metres. Gavin Tainsh converting the bonus point try.

That lead, perhaps unsurprisingly following the pattern of the game, didn't last long enough for the celebrations to die down. A line out saw a breakaway pairing take a rumble towards the try line from 10 metres. The home kicker was in fine form and slotted another conversion to nudge his side back in front.

Broughton rallied and with the clock ticking down, they were edging their way towards the Royal High red zone. A transgression from the home side saw Referee Turner award a penalty which Gavin Tainsh duly obliged by slotting over making it a single point lead with two minutes left to play.

From the restart, the ball was collect and caressed by the Broughton side, keen not to lose the lead they had worked so hard to get their hands back on. Alas, a clearance to touch saw one final throw of the dice and from the line out, a series of plays saw the ball make it to the No.8 who burst through the last line of defence to cross the line.

Agony etched on the Broughton faces, joy on the home touchline. The trials and tribulations of sport.

FT: Royal High 33-28 Broughton

After the match, Head Coach Richard Todd said, "We are all very disappointed with the result and to let it get away from us at the death kind of smarts a little, however we take a lot of pride in the way we played and our determination to run a team like Royal High right to the wire.

"All the lads stepped up today, including Johnny making his return after a long spell out, and with that we have shown how well we can play. I couldn't be prouder of and for the lads that pulled on a Broughton jersey today. But we can't feel sorry for ourselves and we'll get back on the bike and prepare ourselves for another tough match next week at home to Ross High."

With just four points separating seventh from third, there will undoubtedly be a plethora of twists and turns as the Tennent's East Region League 1 journey unfolds.

Updated 12:39 - 30 Sep 2018 by Mark Brown

Where next?

Ticket Information from the SRU ticket centre Information for the Autumn Internationals
Portobello v Broughton Your men's team for the Portobello v Broughton match at Cavalry park KO 3pm

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