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By Chris Doxsey
Rugby players from South Argyll Schools (SAS) team will make history at BT Murrayfield next month.
The U16 SAS, in their first season as a team, play the final of the Scottish School Bowl at Scotland’s home stadium on Wednesday December 5.
The SAS team includes pupils from Campbeltown Grammar School, Tarbert High School, Islay High School and Lochgilphead High School.
The team started the semi-final, played away, against Eastwood Academy with a bang.
Huge pressure led to a knock on five metres out in front of the posts.
SAS took full advantage and Euan MacAthur (Tarbert) picked up from the base of the scrum and scored the game’s first try.
Jamie Blair (Tarbert) converted to give SAS a 7-0 lead inside five minutes.
At the restart Eastwood responded quickly scoring a well worked try and converting to level.
SAS’s defensive effort was massive in the final 20 minutes of the half and the score was all square at half time.
Eastwood were on the front foot at the restart and it led to a knock-on five metres from the line.
After the scrum they broke through and went over in the corner to lead 12-7.
It needed an SAS player to take the game by the scruff and lead from the front.
After a few minutes Kyle Colville (CGS) took centre stage.
The Eastwood defence couldn’t cope with Colville’s speed and power as he shrugged off tackle after tackle before scoring a wonder try converted by Blair for SAS to retake the lead 14-12.
SAS played with more confidence and the excitement grew as Colville again built speed and shrugged off tackles.
Close to the line two home players gripped Colville but his strength and determination took him across and lifted the score to 19-12.
At the restart Eastwood kicked the ball straight to Kyle and he looked for a hat-trick but, at the half-way line, made a brilliant pass to Lochlain Ellis (CGS) in space on the wing.
Ellis’ mazy run passed the Eastwood defence with ease and he scored an excellent individual try.
It was 24-12 to SAS with 10 minutes on the clock.
Eastwood piled on the pressure and broke through in the corner, making it 24-17 with eight minutes left.
Nerves crept into SAS they made mistakes allowing Eastwood to gain possession and territory.
In the last five minutes Eastwood scored in the corner and at 24-22 pressure was their kicker, the conversion drifted left of the post leaving SAS with the slim advantage.
Time ticked slowly asEastwood made a last ditch chance to attack from a scrum but the SAS defence stood strong.
Eastwood panicked and knocked at the final whistle finishing a hard fought game.
Congratulations are due to all players, coaches and minibus drivers without whom none of this would have been possible.
Kyle Colville crosses the line for the second try of the game. NO_c47rugby02_Kyle_Colville_second_try