Glasgow 13,

North and Midlands 21

A TRY by Scotland captain Rob Wainwright at Meggetland last night helped North and Midlands to the most important victory in their history. For this win was the key which opened the door to the European Cup next season when Scotland will be represented by three districts, Edinburgh, the South, and now the victorious Northeners.

They certainly earned the stamps that will go on their passports. Despite losing their skipper David McIvor with a knee knock after only 14 minutes, the North were always the hungrier side.

They tackled anything which twitched and were dangerous on the counter. It obviously helped to have a man of Wainwright's stature to take over the leadership but this was very much a team effort.

Centre Paul Rouse and full-back Simon Burns were heroes in defence. Stewart Campbell took vital lineout ball and was helped by 40-year-old Stewart Hamilton, who came on when McIvor departed and was as lively as any spring chicken.

It was not a flowing game - there was just too much at stake - but Glasgow can have few moans about the outcome.

They won a lot of possession, first through Shade Munro and later from Malcolm Norval. Big Alan Watt also put himself about to good effect.

But, hard though Kenny Logan, Iain Jardine, and Derek Stark tried, they only once managed to pierce the gallant North line.

Frankly, the result is a disaster for the game in Glasgow. It is difficult to believe that class players like Logan, Stark, and Jardine are not going to be permitted to perform on the European stage. Will they be prepared to stay at the same clubs if they are not?

For the North and Midlands, however, the future is coming up roses. Their coach Brian Edwards has every reason to be proud of his side's application.

There was a nervous start on a pitch that appeared to have more sand than the beach at Portobello. John McLeod sent a dropped goal attempt wide as Glasgow had the initial pressure then Logan showed he was in the mood but the the final pass went forward.

Mark McKenzie should have opened the scoring at the other end. He was over the line but dropped the ball as he tried to touch down. The same player also missed two penalties.

But persistence paid off. After 34 minutes, Glasgow were penalised for preventing release and McKenzie found his range at last.

Wainwright, just back from the Hong Kong sevens, had been relatively subdued. Right on half-time, however, he was fed by Kenny Harper and weaved his way over for a priceless try. McKenzie added the goal points then the fly-half kicked the North further ahead with a penalty six minutes into the second half.

Glasgow were becoming desperate now and were not helped when George Breckenridge hit the outside of a post with a penalty.

It was the full-back, however, who got them going at last, kicking two penalties which cut the deficit to seven points.

The North soon retaliated, however. Rouse was pressed into service as a goalkicker when Mark McKenzie was hurt and his long-range effort went over, skimming the crossbar en route.

Neil Renton almost dribbled over for a North try while Stark showed his pace in a frantic Glasgow attack.

Cammy Little was at scrum-half for Glasgow by this time, Jamie Weston having retired with a leg injury, and he it was who supplied Logan with the ball, the winger crashing over for Breckenridge to convert. Just three points the difference.

The killer try came seven minutes from the end. Fergus Wallace tried to run a free kick, the ball went to ground and John Kerr dashed in for the score which finally killed Glasgow's hopes.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for the city. The Northern lights, though, were burning brightly and they will be determined to be worthy Scottish representatives in the big tests to come.

Glasgow - G Breckenridge (GHK); D Stark (Boroughmuir), M McGrandles, I Jardine, K Logan (all Stirling County); J McLeod (GHK), J Weston (Watsonians); A Watt (GHK), G Bulloch (West of Scotland), G McIlwham, S Munro (both GHK), M Norval (Stirling County), F Wallace (Boroughmuir), M Wallace (GHK), I Sinclair (Watsonians). Replacements - G Perrett (West) for Munro (20min); C Little (GHK) for Weston (55).

North and Midlands - S Burns (Edinburgh Accies); N Renton (Kirkcaldy), P Rouse (Dundee HS FP), A Carruthers (Kirkcaldy), J Kerr (Watsonians); M McKenzie, K Harper (both Stirling County); W Anderson (Kirkcaldy), K McKenzie (Stirling County), D Herrington (Kirkcaldy), S Campbell (Dundee HS FP), S Grimes (Watsonians), D McIvor (Edinburgh Accies), G Flockhart (Stirling County), R Wainwright (Watsonians). Replacements - S Hamilton (Stirling County) for McIvor (14).

Referee - J Fleming (Boroughmuir).

SCORERS: Glasgow - Logan, 1t; Breckenridge, 2p, 1c. North and Midlands - M McKenzie, 2p, 1c; Kerr, 1t; Wainwright, 1t; Rouse, 1p.