Rugby - Colts denied a last-gasp winner

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Berwick Colts 24, Jed Thistle 24

BERWICK threatened from the off with long periods of sustained pressure, but uncharacteristic poor tackling allowed Jed in to score and convert twice to lead 14-0, much against the run of play.

Berwick’s forwards domination began to tell when Steven Mutch led the recovery, touching down in the corner from a powerful set piece drive. Berwick’s second score came from Calum O’Rourke who somehow managed to hack a spilled ball out of Berwick’s own 22 then sprint and repeatedly kick the ball the length of the pitch to land it perfectly sitting up behind the Jed try line. As he went to touch down he was tackled off the ball by some desperate, chasing Jed defenders resulting in a penalty try easily converted by John Weatherhead.

Despite having the momentum at the end of a first half where they narrowly trailed by two points Berwick went to sleep at the start of the second half allowing Jed flanker Shane Armstrong, a former Berwick player himself, to run in a soft try from the back of a ruck. Another Jed try in the opposite corner was to quickly follow, the conversion attempt striking the post and bouncing out.

That seemed to signal a revival in Berwick fortunes and from then on Jed were subjected to relentless pressure. An excellent offload from captain Lewis Davie put Calum O’Rourke through to power his way through three Jed defenders on the line for his second score. Again John Weatherhead stepped up and easily converted the spot kick.

A further spell pressure led to another excellent try from a drive into the corner, this time Stu Gilchrist touching the ball down.

On this occasion full back John Weatherhead narrowly missed what was a difficult conversion attempt and the scores were tied at 24 all.

Jed’s discipline began to fade and in the dying seconds of the game it appeared that the home side had won it, the ball being touched down over the line from a ruck one metre out. The cheers were soon silenced, however, as the score was chalked off by the referee for what he adjudged to be a foul in the build-up.

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