Lasswade 7, Musselburgh 35
LASSWADE’S experience for the Edinburgh Regional Cup has been almost embarrassingly painful this year and this tie against fellow Championship B leaguers was only slightly less so.
The Honest Toun side are still in the hunt for promotion this year, lying third but just three points adrift of the leaders, and they were 56-15 winners at home in the first leg of the League competition.
Results elsewhere mean that neither team has any further interest in the Cup, but local and league rivalry was enough to ensure a fully competitive tie.
Conditions were not going to help either side with a very wet pitch, a stiff Rosewell breeze, near freezing temperatures and the occasional spatter of rain producing errors from both sides.
Musselburgh kicked off with the wind advantage and were on the board in three minutes as O’Hagan converted a penalty in front of the posts.
With play mostly deep in their half, Lasswade kept the visitors at bay and O’Hagan opted for three on the 10-minute mark.
Struggling against the wind, a home attempted breakout was turned over 30 metres out and some smart work moved the ball wide to Davis to cross in the corner and O’Hagan was unerring with the boot.
In a similar scenario, Cook and O’Hagan added another seven just four minutes later and things began to look ominous to the home support.
They need not have worried as determined tackling and cover defence, as well as some charging runs by the likes of Robertson, Billingham and Quigley, stemmed the flow and restricted the damage to just one more penalty before the break.
With the wind now at their backs, a scoreline of 0-23 did not seem insurmountable to the home side, but, virtually from the restart, a speculative kick-through bounced kindly for the Musselburgh backs and close support gave Hook space to make it 28-0.
The hosts rebounded from this further setback and, aided by raking kicks from Hennessey, spent the vast majority of the next 20 minutes deep in opposition territory.
Burgh had their back feet near or even over their own line on a number of occasions, but finally yielded to a series of rucks and a bullocking finish by Robertson under the posts for Hennessey to add the two.
This served to remind the visitors that the game wasn’t won yet and they strung together a passage of play to cancel out the converted try just four minutes later, enabling Gehan to break through and touch down under the home posts.
Lasswade prevented any further losses during the last quarter hour, but could not convert their territorial superiority into any more points.
Weather and pitch permitting, League business resumes for Lasswade at Hawthornden this Saturday (kick-off 2pm) when Haddington will be anxious to try and reduce their current risk of relegation.