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The Royal High School 49
South Argyll Schools 10
U16 National Bowl Final
Against all odds South Argyll School’s (SAS) rugby team deservedly reached their first ever Murrayfield national final.
It was a logistical challenge for the West Coast Motors coach to collect players and parents from Campbeltown, Tarber (and Islay) and Lochgilphead, in west coast time, to travel the width of the country.
Their opponents Royal High School from Edinburgh faced a short walk across town.
SAS’s path through the competition has involved lots of ups and downs including overnight trips away, opposition call offs and a tough trip to Marr College, in the early rounds, to secure that bowl final place.
The players arrived sporting new SAS polo shirts, sponsored by Stuart Herd of The Art Studio in Tarbert, and prepared at the last minute by Dalriada Signs.
Despite lack of experience compared to The Royal SAS were confident of causing an upset with a number of talented players.
SAS held off the challenge in the opening exchanges as Jamie Blair did well to clear his sides lines after a period of pressure.
It was not to be, and slick handling saw Royal take the lead with a touchdown, in the right corner, after five minutes 5-0.
It was extended with a carbon copy of the first try giving a 10-0 lead after eight minutes.
This early setback failed to knock SAS’s confidence.
They gained territory with runs from Tarbert’s Matthew Peden and some good defensive work from Campbeltown’s Kyle Colville, Calum Cook and Lochgilphead’s Ruaridh Condie.
SAS launched a few attacks at the line, midway in the half and were eventually rewarded when Kyle Colville dived over from a quickly taken penalty, by captain Jamie Blair.
After 20 minutes it was game on at 10-5 to Royal High.
Frustratingly SAS lost control at crucial stages before halftime, conceding three tries, as Royal High raced ahead 25-5.
A tiring Argyll side lost a further two scores, before Colville secured his second try. Rounding off an impressive performance from the big second row.
SAS used all their squad in an effort to get back into the game, but Royal dominated possession and territory and eventually ran out as comfortable 49-10 winners.
Despite the heavy score line SAS coaches were left delighted with the teams’ efforts against a well drilled and experienced Royal High side.
The historic day in a picture. NO_c50rugbybowl01South Argyll & Oban Photo