Peebles 5

Highland 16

Allan Beveridge

at The Gytes

PEEBLES were looking for revenge following their injury time defeat in Inverness back in September.

But with eight or nine first team regulars not available through injury, work commitments and a wedding it was always going to be a struggle against the likely league runners-up.

It wasn't the most reassuring of starts, either, by the home team after knocking on straight from the kick off.

The pressure, thankfully for the home support, was cleared after the forwards managed to disrupt the scrum.

And it looked as though fortunes were turning in just the third minute when Highland were reduced to 14 players with prop Sinclair being sin-binned.

Peebles quickly took advantage of the numerical situation with Ryan Stewart scoring the opening try after a number of drives.

The conversion was just wide, leaving the Pees 5-0 in front.

Highland survived further Peebles pressure before returning to a full compliment of 15 players.

And once at full strength they began to exert their weight advantage and put all into attack.

The Peebles defence held out until a clearance kick on his own line by Robert Harrison was charged down and the ball luckily bounced into the hands of Highland second row McDonald who only had to touch the ball down.

Rory Carson's conversion was successful.

There was little between the teams for the remainder of the half with mistakes being made by both sets of players.

But Peebles did appear to make the majority of the handling errors.

There were a number of notable performances for Peebles with openside wing forward Stewart Hunter showing his skill, pace and defensive capabilities, as well as Callum Anderson on his return from suspension in the outside centre role showing just how much he had been missed, as was Jamie Menzies in the front row.

But just before half time Highland edged further in front with Carson dropping a goal.

Peebles did go close midway through the second half after Donald Anderson kicked a penalty to within five metres of the visitors' line.

But the lineout was lost and Highland cleared the danger.

Two late penalties by the visitors put paid to any chances Peebles may have had in this error ridden game and Highland headed back up the A 9 needing only one more win to secure promotion.

Not an afternoon the Peebles players and supporters to remember.

Highland were no better than Peebles, who deserved more out of this contest, however they made too many mistakes.