5 Points at Fortress Fullarton
By Gregor Ness
A strong performance against a good Musselburgh side gets us back on track
Musselburgh arrived at Fullarton undefeated and in confident form. In the opening exchanges they soaked up early pressure from Marr and winning turnover ball gained a penalty that Danny Owenson converted to open the scoring. Five minutes later he added a second as they capitalised on Marr errors.
This provided a wake-up call for Marr who stepped up their work rate and managed to reduce the error count. On fifteen minutes Marr took the lead from a converted try scored by Calvin Henderson (sponsored by AG Peters) after a long period where Marr retained possession as they probed and pushed back Musselburgh’s defence to close to their try line and in the end the pack rumbled over from close range. This was quickly followed by Marr’s second try scored and converted by Liam McLoughlin. The score was made after Ewan Hamilton-Bulger made a midfield line break and as he was tackled floated a perfect pass to Liam McLoughlin who was going at full pace and ran in the final 30 metres to score in the corner. Try three scored by Ollie Rossi followed quickly as Marr started to cut loose. Pressure play secured a penalty close to Musselburgh’s try line and an attacking lineout followed. Ollie Rossi started the move with a perfect throw-in and as Marr’s maul threatened the line he took possession and peeled off down the narrow-side to score.
Musselburgh’s response was immediate as Declan Slaven showed good awareness and pace to spot a gap and sprint 40 metres down the right wing and score in the corner.
Marr’s Andrew Mill scored the important bonus point try on the half hour mark and for the remaining ten minutes Marr again threatened to cut loose but were withheld by some determined defensive work from Musselburgh and end the half Marr leading 28-11.
The opening quarter of the second half was a nervy affair as both sides struggled to get back into a rhythm.
Musselburgh opened the second half scoring with a well worked try on the hour mark. Ronan Stott managed to open up Marr’s defence with a strong run and as he was tackled offloaded to the pacey Gregor Tait who managed to draw the defence and pass to Kyle McGhie to score. The try was converted by Owenson.
For the final quarter Marr again raised their game as they tried to close the match out with further scores while also preventing Musselburgh gaining any points. Once again they were held back by increasingly determined defensive work. However under pressure they conceded a number of penalties with one resulting in a yellow card for Neil McNairn. Playing a man down Musselburgh tighter their defence even more and Marr had to make do with a single converted penalty during the period where they had the extra man advantage.
During the final ten minutes Marr continue to press home repeated attacks and in the final play their endeavour was finally rewarded when Scott Bickerstaff made a trademark break to score in the corner.
As the dust settled down Marr’s support appreciated that it had been a tough test against a very competitive and capable set of opponents who will cause problems for every other team in the league. From Marr’s perspective it was good to shake off the Jed result and return to winning ways.
Marr Rugby 1st XV man of the match – Angus Johnston (sponsored by Jimmy Armour)
Marr Rugby 1st XV scorers
Tries: Calvin Henderson; Liam McLoughlin; Ollie Rossi; Andrew Mill and Scott Bickerstaff
Conversions: Liam McLoughlin (4)
Penalty: Liam McLoughlin