Walkerburn 21

Penicuik 45

Colin McCudden

at Caberston Haugh

LAST Saturday Walkerburn hosted Penicuik down at Caberston Haugh.

Pitting themselves against a team from the division above, this would be a litmus test for their aspirations of stepping up next season, and the Burn team knew that they would have to bring their A game.

On an almost springlike day the spectators enjoyed a feast of open rugby from the off with both teams looking to play positively in the good conditions.

One early passage of play went from end to end and back without a stoppage, leaving players in both teams gasping for air. Both teams had their early spells but then Penicuik started to apply some consistent pressure.

Despite some resolute Burn tackling, notably by Walker in the midfield and Gilchrist, Currie and Castro in the pack, Penicuik scored three tries during this period, but were made to work hard for each one of them. Burn weren't disheartened and camped on the Penicuik line. Ruck ball was recycled quickly and the versatile James Mathews scored in the corner. Sandy Walker surprised everyone with his superb touchline conversion.

Penicuik replied with another try before half time to make the score 26-7.

The first score of the second half would be crucial to make a game of it and the Burn scored a cracker.

Stand-off Elliot Freeman broke from a ruck at half way, he found John Little Jr in support and he managed to pass out of the tackle to Dean Gilchrist who reached out of the last tackle for the touchdown.

Momentum swung back in the other direction as Penicuik scored in the top corner in a rare forage into the Burn half. Burn then set about putting pressure on the Penicuik line gaining a penalty five yards out. I don't know the Italian word for unstoppable but Francesco Castro's run was all of that for another Burn try.

Sandy Walker evidently had his kicking boots on as once more his left foot kick from the touchline split the uprights.

Penicuik showed their quality and kept the Burn at arms length with two late tries for a final score of 45-21.

Although Penicuik won convincingly on the scoreboard in the final reckoning, Walkerburn had produced one of their best displays of the season showing they were comfortable in this company.

This was a true team performance with the whole squad contributing and showing their potential.