Solid performance again from U15 squad
A solid team display saw Highland ease past Falkirk and into the Caledonia Cup semi-finals. On a day more like mid-summer than early spring the U15 squad proved too strong for the visitors and ran out deserved winners.
Highland were on the offensive from the kick off and good early control in the opposition 22 saw Bruce Flockhart pick up 10m out, the Falkirk defence gave him too much space and he was over for the first score, Stephen Grant adding the extra two points. The ball was very quickly back in the Falkirk half after the restart and the pack were exerting good early dominance. A scrum in the Falkirk 22 was won by Highland against the head quick ball from Fionnlagh Call to Iain Crush created space, Iain drew the defender before passing back to Fionnlagh who touched down in the corner.
The game continued to be played in the visitors half and the third score was almost a replay of the second. More great front row skills from Ryan Gallagher saw another take against the head this time Fionnlagh took the ball forward himself before returning the earlier favour from Iain to put him clear to touch down. Iain converted his own try and Highland had a 19 point lead.
Highland let the concentration levels drop and allowed Falkirk back into the game, giving away a series of silly penalties that allowed the visitors sustained time in our half, some nice play from the Falkirk backs combined with hard running saw a tackle missed and a score under the posts which was easily converted. Highland hit back straight from the restart with the forwards securing ball before Bruce went on another charge breaking several tackles before touching down for his second try of the day.
Falkirk stuck to the task and it was their turn to score from the set piece when a scrum in the Highland 22 was wheeled round allowing the No.8 to pick and sidestep the solitary blindside defender to go over in the corner.
Half Time Highland 24 Falkirk 12
The chat at half time was to up the intensity and cut out the silly mistakes and to the delight of the coaches that is exactly what we got. Jordan Thompson set the standard with the first move of the half taking a ball at pace and running through tackles eventually being well stopped and held up over the Falkirk line. The resultant 5 meter scrum saw the pack reassert its dominance and Bruce picked up from No.8 to go over for his hat trick try.
Highland were now dominant and Robert Macdowall was unlucky to have what seemed a good try chalked off for crossing. The lads kept playing at the right end of the pitch however and a quick penalty taken by Fionnlagh saw the ball moved quickly from left to right giving Calum Smart an easy score in the corner.
Straight from the restart Robert took the high ball and ran hard at the Falkirk defence causing them all sorts of problems, a good offload to Bruce saw him carry to the line before eventually being stopped. The support was great and the forwards gave Fionnlagh the platform to pick up and dive over for his second try.
Another good take at the restart this time by Iain Crush saw Highland once again running hard at Falkirk, good support running was giving the ball carriers lots of options and Fionnlagh popped up on the left wing to receive the ball and complete his hat trick with a touch down at the corner flag. Iain made the very difficult conversion (much to his fathers surprise!) Highland were now rampant but continued to play with impressive structure and control. More strong running from Jordan saw him offload to Alisdair McArthur who crashed over under the posts, Fionnlagh adding the 2 points. The pressure continued and Calum Hay added his name to the list of scorers after a tap penalty from Christopher Johnston gave him the chance to dive over. Fionnlagh again adding two points.
There was just enough time for one more try and Jordan took it well cutting through the Falkirk defence for a well-deserved score of his own.
Final Score: Highland 67 Falkirk 12
This was a really good team performance and while certain names appear regularly because they made the scores this was only possible as a result of quality support play across the park. The forward pack had a great game with Jack Lyle impressive both in his role as prop and his defensive work in the loose. No player looked out of place and we will look forward to the semi final with Stirling with confidence.
Thanks to Falkirk for playing the game in such a sporting manner and for sticking to the task long after the game had slipped away. Thanks also to the friends and family who came to support the lads it is always appreciated.