Currie Chieftains Malleny

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Premier League Match 19: Play-off Semi-Final – 2.3.24. A View from the Touchline

Marr 12 pts (t 2, c 1) v Currie Chieftains 27 pts (t 4, c 2, p g 1)

‘Oh, ye of little faith.’ I suspect that many of the travelling support, me included, thought that this trip to Fullarton Park was mission impossible, especially after the disappointing result just a fortnight earlier at Malleny. I can only remember Currie winning at the ambitious Ayrshire club on the odd occasion, and it would take an exceptional performance to register a win. But, with the coaching abilities of Mark Cairns and Alistair Donaldson, and the leadership qualities of Rhys Davies and Jamie Forbes, we could have guessed that the outcome would not be a forgone conclusion.  

The large vociferous crowd had barely settled into position before Ryan Daley was sent scampering down the left touchline; his perfect inside pass to Rhys Davies, 10 metres out, had the thundering flanker sprawling over the goal line with a couple of tacklers on his back. The try was not converted, but it certainly gave notice of the visitors’ intent. After 10 minutes, Courtney West had secured a couple of attacking lineouts and Charlie Brett had cut through the Marr defence for another scoring opportunity; unfortunately, the ball did not reach support runners to his right and left who had a clear track to the line.

Towards the end of the first quarter, Marr were coming more into the game; they held on to possession, gained territory, and looked dangerous. If two Ryan Daley tackles had not been clinically executed, or Courtney West had not gained a turnover just 10 metres from his line, the home team would have taken the lead. Although play was now evenly distributed, the excitement rose when either team got into the opposition 22. On 25 minutes, and following a couple of Currie infringements, the Marr pressure mounted. Their quickly taken tap penalty, 5-metres out, delivered a converted try. The locals thought that they were in for another try moments later, but a knock-on scuppered that. As halftime approached, the Chieftains’ expansive rugby produced a sensational try. The excellent Paddy Bowyer was making mischief with sniping runs and long deliveries which helped to puncture the Marr defence. A looping move involving Callum Beckett and Jamie Forbes gave the dynamic DJ Innes space to career in for a converted score, and a deserved halftime lead.

Halftime score – Marr 7 pts, Currie Chieftains 12 pts.

From the restart Currie went on the attack, and they chalked up their third try with rugby which out- manoeuvred a sluggish Marr defence; quick ball and long accurate passing put Sam Cardosi in at the corner flag for an unconverted score. The next 20 minutes was a testing time for the visitors’ defence; Jamie Forbes felled a big forward charging deep into the Chieftains’ red zone, and Archie Fletcher, Ali Bain, Graeme Carson and Thomas Jeffery worked tirelessly to thwart the physical onslaught. Their work-rate was inspirational, and Marr’s frustration was starting to show. Ryan Fisher, Ollie Blyth-Lafferty, Sam Cardosi and Paddy Bowyer caused chaos at breakdowns, and when Marr were caught offside; Charlie Brett bagged the points. On the hour mark, another mesmerising run from Charlie Brett ended under the posts, but the referee ruled that the ball was knocked on before touchdown.

Both teams had been pinged for high tackles, and on 66 minutes the referee sent a Currie forward to the sinbin. Marr were eager to use their advantage, but from a midfield mix up, Paddy Bowyer raced into space, and Sam Cardosi carried the attack forward. Marr’s defence was in chaos as the ball flew to James McCaig on the right wing. From 20 metres out, the speedster stepped inside the cover defence and headed for the posts. Charlie Brett had no trouble with the conversion, but two later penalty shots did not hit their target. Another high tackle, and Marr were reduced to 14 men, but they did achieve a late consolation try which made trivial difference to Currie’s epic win. A date for the play-off final remains to be decided. Cup action at Malleny Park next weekend.  

I.J.S – 3.3.24

Currie RFC

Malleny Park



EH14 7AF

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