Currie Chieftains v Edinburgh Accies, 2 October 2021

Following a high-scoring win over Hawick the previous week, the Edinburgh Accies predicted to give the Chieftains a difficult match. On a wet blustery day, there was little between the two sides for the first 30 minutes. The play took place mainly in midfield, but the difficult conditions produced plenty of handling errors and excitement, as the frequently dropped ball was hacked deep into opposition territory.

Currie broke the deadlock with a Gregor Hunter penalty goal after Ryan Southern breached the Accies defences and won an offside decision. Almost immediately, the lively visitors gained a good attacking position and cleverly chipped through the advancing Currie line to score an unconverted Accies try. Initially the visitors’ scrum had Currie in difficulty, but the power struggle eventually came into balance. Unfortunately for Accies their lineout misfired throughout the afternoon and was frequently plundered by Rhys Davies or Hamish Ferguson, hindering the visitors’ ambitions both in defence and attack.

On the half-hour mark, following a tremendous Fergus Scott charge, Currie’s adventurous play had Accies desperately defending their line. The pressure finally told, when Gregor Nelson crashed over for the Chieftains’ opening try, which Gregor Hunter converted. The Malleny team were soon back in Accies’ territory, and when the visitors were yellow-carded for repeated infringements, the Malleny pack drove purposefully for the line. Wallace Nelson scored a try which Gregor Hunter found no difficulty in converting. As halftime approached, the Chieftains’ energy had the visitors on the back foot, but Accies solid defence prevented further scoring before the break.

Halftime score – Chieftains 17 pts, Edinburgh Accies 5 pts.

Buoyed by their first half performance, Accies made a promising start to the second forty minutes and put Currie under pressure. However, when the powerful running of DJ Innis put Ryan Southern through a gap, the elusive centre raced deep into the visitors’ twenty-two. He was stopped short of the line, but the Chieftains support was on hand. The alert Cammy Meager joined the ruck and dived over for a third converted score.

Although the visitors had the breeze in their favour, the immaculate kicking of Gregor Hunter continually frustrated their ambitions, and he returned any of their positional punts with interest. The frequent heavy showers and slippery conditions were hampering both teams as the ball squirted from their grasp in some exciting passages of play. Accies’ misfortunes continued as they experienced more trouble with the wet weather than Currie, who retained the ball better, and slowly dominated both possession and territory.

The Chieftains could not breach the visitors’ dogged defence and a fourth try looked to be slipping beyond their reach. However, as the rain stopped and the sun came out, a rainbow shimmered over Malleny Park. In the final minutes of the match a series of driving mauls took Currie close to the opposition line. Repeatedly, the splendid Accies defence held out, but a final assault, supported by his forwards colleagues, took Graeme Carson over the line for the bonus point try. Gregor Hunter kicked the conversion, concluding a match played under very testing conditions. The unstinting efforts of the pack and of the spritely Cameron Lessels epitomised the Chieftains performance; it should stand them in good stead for the conditions they are likely to encounter over the next few months.

Full-time Result: Currie 31 pts (t 4, c 4, p g 1) v Edinburgh Accies 5 pts (t 1)

IJS – 3.10.21.