The first Under 18 XV put out by NBRFC for nearly 20 years got off to a winning start yesterday, with this close victory over East of Scotland Cup rivals, Kelso Harlequins.
For many of the players it was only their second game since the turn of the year and their rustiness was evident as was a degree of unfamiliarity with new combinations and players playing together for the first time.
Kelso were a well organised side, with a big pack and a strong midfield. The first half was scoreless but there was loads of honest endeavour from both teams.
At the start of the second half, Kelso applied a lot of pressure and were camped in the NB half - they created numerous overlaps and only some last-gasp tackling kept them at bay. They eventually scored a penalty to take a 3-0 lead.
NB tried to spread the ball wide whenever they could and one such crisp handling move saw the ball shipped to winger Connor Johnston who beat the opposition to score under the posts. The try was converted by Jonny Mitchell to give NB the lead, a lead that they were able to defend until the final whistle.
This was a thoroughly deserved victory & the lads are now looking forward to the second game in the pool stages, with the visit of Murrayfield Wanderers next Saturday.
Author : K.R. Macaulay