Glasgow Caley 32 - Edin Reivers 35

Edinburgh Reivers showed exceptional fighting spirit at Hughenden last night to gain revenge for their Myreside defeat by the Reds earlier this season.

The result looked highly unlikely in the early stages as the Reds dominated, but the manner of the Reivers victory was summed up by the fact that they scored crucial tries in injury time in both halves.

''It was a good all round team performance,'' Frank Hadden, their coach, said afterwards.

''They have shown a great deal of character this season and that was particularly evident tonight having struggled in the lineouts and the scrums early on.''

Hadden justifiably felt his men had deserved their win, and both he and Richie Dixon, his opposite number, paid tribute to Tommy Hayes, the Reds stand-off, for a fine performance which kept his side in the game, while the Reds coach believed the biggest difference between the sides had been mental.

''They were hungrier than us and they certainly outplayed us at the breakdown,'' Dixon said.

''I'm very disappointed in our side, the game is played in the head as well as with the body and our decision-making wasn't good enough.

''We also allowed a very soft try at half-time and an even softer one at the end.''

With the wind at their backs and Hayes kicking superbly, the Reds carried all the early momentum and the stand-off opened the scoring with a fourth minute penalty.

That was rapidly followed by the opening try, when Gordon Simpson, who had made it clear in advance of the match that he was itching to make a point having been out of the international set-up since being disciplined in the autumn, made his impact.

His powerful run down the left touchline took the Reds into the Reivers 22 and, after a penalty was awarded under the posts, Andy Nicol cleverly delayed long enough for the Reivers defence to relax before opting for the tap. Hayes reacted quickly and put Simpson, loitering with intent on the left flank, over for the score.

Hayes missed the kick, but 10 minutes later extended the Reds' lead with a second penalty strike, though that was quickly cancelled out when Duncan Hodge got his first opportunity.

The Reds remained on top, however, and a magnificent break from halfway by Hayes carved open the Reivers defence again. Chris Paterson did reel the Cook Islands internationalist in, but deep in the Reivers 22 the ball was quickly recycled to let Jon Stuart stroll over on the left.

It was certainly shaping up as a frustrating night for the Scotland selectors, with ''foreigner'' Hayes running the show and the tries scored by a man who is currently ineligible to play for Scotland, Stuart, and another who believes he is being overlooked.

That pattern continued when the Reivers revived their hopes on the stroke of half-time.

The home side always looked to be short of numbers as they shifted the ball left and when Glenn Metcalfe stood off Conan Sharman, the winger stepped rapidly off his left foot to leave the current Scotland squad member for dead.

With their pack increasingly taking control of the game, the Reivers drew level when a Hodge penalty was followed by Sharman's second try, the winger getting the benefit of the doubt when he appeared to have been forced into touch by Alan Bulloch's tackle just before touching down in the left corner.

The Reds reclaimed the lead with another fine try after replacement winger Roland Reid made ground down the right with a powerful run, before the ball was shifted to the left wing, where Simpson's clever off-load put Stuart in, Hayes typically making up for an earlier penalty miss from under the posts by converting from near the left touchline.

Hodge reduced the deficit with a penalty and a tense finish produced three tries, the lead changing with each.

Cammy Murray, who had seemed earlier to spurn a winger's opportunity wide on the right, struck first, dancing between defenders to go over.

The Reds seemed to have salvaged the game with another outstanding run by Hayes, who broke one tackle, then jinked his way past four more defenders in a crossfield run before putting James Mclaren in.

However, the Reivers kept going into injury time and it was appropriate that it was prop Allan Jacobsen who beat the defensive line to go in close to the posts.

Scoring sequence (Reds first): 3-0, 8-0, 11-0, 11-3, 18-3, 18-10 (half-time); 18-13, 18-18, 25-18, 25-21, 25-28, 32-28, 32-35.

Scorers: Reds: Tries - Simpson (7), Stuart (29, 58), McLaren (77); Conversions - Hayes (29, 58, 77); Penalties - Hayes (4, 17). Reivers: Tries - Sharman (40, 52), Murray (75), Jacobsen (80); Conversions - Hodge (40, 75, 80); Penalties - Hodge (23 ,49, 67).


Glasgow Caledonian Reds: G Metcalfe; J Craig (R Reid, 51min), A Bulloch, J Stuart, S Longstaff (J McLaren, 17); T Hayes, A Nicol; D Hilton, G Bulloch, G McIlwham, S Griffiths, J White, G Simpson, D Macfadyen, J Petrie

Edinburgh Reivers: C Paterson; C Murray, M Di Rollo, D Officer (G Shiel, 79), C Sharman; D Hodge, G Burns; A Jacobsen, S Scott, C Smith, R Metcalfe, D Mackinnon, M Leslie, G Dall, S Taylor.