Falkirk 34 Stewart’s Melville
Having been thrown in at the deep end at the start of the season, and been through a baptism of fire, Falkirk’s youngsters kept their heads high at all times and never lost heart.
It was finally rewarded on Saturday with a win at Horne Park against Stewart’s Melville College – their first of the season.
Games and points may have been lost, but they won the admiration from most of their opponents for their sheer determination and fighting spirit throughout the season.
However on Saturday it was the Edinburgh side who got off to a positive start when they turned a lengthy period of concerted pressure into points when their Hooker Doug Randall crashed over for an unconverted try in the fifth minute.
Responding positively Falkirk got the bit between their teeth when Connor Faulds made good ground from an incisive break before being grounded just short of the line,b ut the Sunnysiders’ ‘pack of forwards then took over and applied the power for Prop Alan Baird to get the touchdown in the 11th minute. Keeping up the pressure the same scenario was then fought out between both packs, and from almost the same position on the pitch as before Baird crashed over for his brace of tries following a series of five metre rucks at the end of the first quarter of play.
Having none of it though the College’s side countered with a well worked try, on the half hour mark,when their prop-forward and Captain Ruaridh Mitchell dotted the ball down near the corner flag with stand-off Nick McCashin adding the accurately struck conversion.
Yet again though Falkirk displayed their sheer determination to finish the season on a high when they fought their way into Stew/Mels last quarter of the field,and after winning a five metre scrum Captain Stewart McCulloch picked up at the base of the scrum and charged over for a deserved try in the 43rd minute. Fionn Call converted all three first half tries for a half-time score in Falkirk’s favour 21-12.
Keeping their foot firmly on the accelerator pedal Falkirk then increased their lead when Fionn Call went on to convert back to back penalty conversions in the 57th and 63rd minutes respectively prior to Harry Russell taking the field after a season long injury.
As the remaining pattern of play progressed it was obvious that Falkirk was much the better side and they were richly awarded for their efforts deep into injury time when Colleges were pressurising on Falkirk’s five metre line before losing control of the ball. Quick as a flash Connor Faulds took possession and broke from behind his own goal line and stormed his way to midfield before transferring to Ryan Howie who then sped the rest of the pitch for a sensational try under the posts,with Stewart McCulloch promptly adding the conversion.