Broughton welcomed Liberton to a cold and muddy Wardie for this East Regional Bowl Quarter Final clash.
The match was one of only a few games that survived the brutal frost that has gripped the Capital over the last few days and on inspection, match referee Ian Hewitt was inventive to say the least to ensure it went ahead.
Liberton, who had disposed of league leaders Inverleith in the previous round, played down the infamous Wardie slope in the first half, with the added benefit of the low sunshine in their host’s eyes.
The game had all the hallmarks of one for the purists and the opening quarter saw Broughton squander a few chances in the Liberton red zone. When the teams met on league duty earlier in the season, it was the boys from Double Hedges who sneaked into the lead. However, after an infringement just inside their own 22, ‘Bombers’ Malcolm capitalised with a successful kick splitting the uprights. 3-0.
With temperatures dropping by what seemed to be the minute, some hard hits by Demon and lots of lengthy rucks and mauls got the blood pumping.
Liberton were offered the chance to draw level after a Broughton player was penalised for not staying on his feet however the big kicking Prop couldn’t get the radar or the distance in order to trouble the scoreboard.
Bombers had the chance shortly after to extend the lead with another kick at goal following an offside call from the Ref, who had to substitute his whistle due to a faulty pea! The kick was successful and the lead was doubled. 6-0.
Half-time Broughton 6-0 Liberton
The second half started where the first half finished – blooming cold! Broughton now had the slope and as the sun started to set in the Capital, the low glare would be an annoyance for anyone dealing with a 2nd half Garry Owen.
Broughton were pinged for holding on at the breakdown and whilst the Liberton kicker was shaping up for the shot at goal, the Referee reversed the penalty after a grumpy Liberton lad couldn’t hide his verbal displeasure over something Mr Hewitt had failed to act upon earlier.
One of the most bizarre events of the day came mid-way through the half when the Ref ordered the Liberton No.4 off the pitch – to take off his leggings! Yip, the non-IRB approved garments had to go. Both pairs.
Bennett was unlucky not to score in the corner when he broke off the back of another powerful rolling maul. He was bundled into touch by 3 Liberton players inches from the whitewash, which in hindsight was probably a better result otherwise it would have been a close encounter with the icy puddle!
It’s not every day you get to write this, but footage from the game shows that Demon found himself put onto his derriere by the rampaging Liberton No.8 – one for the scrapbook there!
With 15 minutes to go, Broughton finally turned their pressure into tries.
The Liberton pack were finding it difficult to make their way out of the muddy bottom corner and eventually their Broughton counterparts chipped away enough to score two tries in 5 minutes.
Mohammed and Bennett both burst through tackles to set up a platform 5 metres out and ‘Horse’ Morgan was at the back of the maul to get low enough to place the ball on the line. The Ref was well placed to award the score, just in front of the cordoned off area! 11-0.
Whilst spotting offending items of clothing earlier, the Ref failed to notice the ball leaving the field of play behind the Broughton dead ball line after a mediocre Liberton penalty went high, wide and wasn’t in the slightest handsome. Instead, the call was that the ball wasn’t put down and the ball was passed forward in the dead ball area, therefore he’d award a ‘Scrum 5’ to Liberton. Poor Mr Hewitt was the only man at Wardie to have noticed this – and that’s assuming he actually did…
Further sustained pressure in the 70th minute saw another Morgan try and with that, Broughton’s name making the hat for the semi-final draw.
A quick Harris tap penalty left Liberton all at sea. Wells was on hand to pop the ball to Morgan and the second rower bulldozed his way through three defenders to notch up his second try of the afternoon. 16-0.
With the game entering into its dying stages, Malcolm kicked his third successful penalty of the afternoon to bring the score to 19-0.
Final Score: Broughton 19 – 0 Liberton
So, the win sees Broughton march into the Bowl Semi-Finals. The draw is still to be made however our opponents will be one of the following: Leith, St Boswells and Moray House. The ties will be played on the 2nd February.