Marr progress in Scottish Schools cup
By Duncan Beckwith
Marr U18s earn tie against Cup holders
Marr College U18s travelled through to the east coast to play Dunbar in the third round of the Scottish Schools Cup. The pitch was perfect but the game was played in tricky, blustery conditions.
Marr kicked off into the cross wind and had the early pressure. However Dunbar soon turned defence into attack and were the first on the scoreboard with a converted try after a midfield break.
Marr then had to defend a period of Dunbar pressure before a loose pass was picked up by Jack Bray and he ran in from half way for an unconverted try. 7-5 to Dunbar.
Too often Marr were losing the ball in contact or trying offloads which were difficult in the windy conditions and not going to hand. But when they got their act together we were treated to some excellent tries. After a number of pick and go's from the forwards the backs were released at just the right time and Scott McDonald went over for a score which was converted by Gregor Beckwith.
Marr pressurised Dunbar again from the restart which resulted in a loose kick by the hosts. This was gathered by Ryan Brown who took off on a direct line to goal . Poor tackling allowed him to run through and touch down for another try, converted by Beckwith. 19-7 to Marr which remained the score till half time.
Dunbar started the second half with greater intensity and Marr had their backs to the wall. Poor play in their own 22 provided a turnover for Dunbar and they went over for an unconverted try to reduce the deficit to 19-12.
Marr then took a strike against the head and Scott McDonald backed himself to go over in the corner for his second try. Beckwith was successful with the touchline conversion to extend Marr's lead to 26-12. To their credit Dunbar came back again and scored an unconverted try in the corner after a break from half way. 26-17 to Marr.
Marr then finished the game with two excellent scores. First, off a lineout in their own half the ball was passed to captain Kyle McCulloch who burst over the gain line. Murray Blair was on his shoulder to continue the momentum and he passed to winger Evan Light who touched down in the corner. 31-17. Finally turnover ball won by Marr was moved quickly along the backline to right winger Ryan Brown who went over in the corner. Beckwith again knocked the ball between the sticks to make the final score 38-17.
Marr will need to be more clinical in the next round as they face the challenge of playing away to the cup holders Strathallan. They know that they will have to play at a far higher level and with greater intensity to have a chance of an upset. However, a good win today against a well coached team.
Next up is a top of the Conference League match on Saturday in Crieff against Morrisons while we await the date of the 'Strath' match.