Heriot's 20 Watsonians 31

WATSONIANS recorded their seventh win from the last eight games against Heriot's FP in large part because of the incisiveness of their backs of whom John Kerr made a memorable contribution to a contest that spawned eight tries at Goldenacre.

Kerr popped up all over the paddock in both attack and defence and there was also some aggressive running and clever angles from Jamie Mayer, although Watsonians did lose some of their creativity in the injury absence of Andrew Garry for all of the second half and through two injury retirals by Duncan Hodge whose three conversions gave him 72 points from the last five games against Heriot's.

The Heriot's scrummage waxed stronger when Watsonians had to adjust their formation with Gordon Dickson moving to flanker, Matt Smith and Craig Buchanan into the front row, and the dynamic Ian Sinclair to centre.

Sinclair had a fascinating duel with Graham Dall, who put in tackle after tackle, but had few opportunities for displaying his ball transference talents. Much of the lineout play was untidy and there wasn't enough quick delivery from subsequent phase areas, but Tammas McVie and John Bryce got through big work rates, Martin Waite gave Watsonians a higher return from scrummage pick-up on his debut, and Dickson allied his previous flanker experience with Boroughmuir to close quarter physical commitment.

Gordon Ross provided a balanced diet without quite breaking the shackles. Heriot's presented no great threat in midfield until Gordon Lawrie appeared as replacement and the most effective performances were by Charlie Keenan, especially as auxiliary full back and by Hugh Gilmour who scored the first of his side's three tries. It was a gem. McVie supplied the ignition in his own twenty-two, Andrew Dall provided quality linkage, and David Proctor moved ball out of Fergus Henderson's tackle for Hugh Gilmour, to race over.

Watsonians had opened with a scintillating score five minutes after kick-off when the stocky Mayer scorched into space and Kerr completed the last 50 metres for the try without requiring the assistance of the supporting Scott Hastings, who appeared comfortable whether as full back, centre or stand-off.

Watsonians led 26-3 at half-time from a penalty try when Henderson was impeded and tries by Graeme Burns working the scrummage fringe and by Waite beautifully positioned after Burns and Mayer had exploited the narrow side. Gilmour's score hinted at revival at 8-26, but Cameron Mather settled the issue with a lineout maul-over score.

Heriot's, however, won the last quarter by 12-0 from tries by Campbell Powrie, after Donald Fowler, Ross (who potted a penalty goal and conversion), Chris Turnbull, and Andrew Binnie had driven close. The other Heriot's score was by Lawrie with a screeching sidestep.

Scorers: Heriot's - Ross 1p, 1c; H Gilmour 1t; Powrie 1t; Lawrie 1t. Watsonians - Kerr 1t; Henderson (penalty try); Burns 1t; Waite 1t; Mather 1t; Hodge 3c.

Heriot's FP - H Gilmour; Proctor, Payot, Solomon, Keenan; Ross, Fowler; Bryce, Turnbull, Livingstone, S Gilmour, A Dall, McVie, Bell, G Dall (captain). Replacements - Lawrie for Solomon, 40 mins; Binnie for Livingstone, 40; Powrie for S Gilmour, 53.

Watsonians - Hastings; Henderson, Mayer, Garry, Kerr; Hodge (captain), Burns; Parris, Dickson, Scott, White, Grimes, Mather, Waite, Sinclair. Replacements - Buchanan for Scott, 36; Penny for Garry, 40; Smith for Hodge, 8-28 and 31-35; Weston for Burns, 45.

Referee - R Dickson (Madras FP).