Lasswade find it pays to play to the final whistle as they edge Highland

lasswade v highland rugby
lasswade v highland rugby

For the third week in succession, Lasswade squared up to one of the newly-promoted teams.

Twenty minutes into the game and Lasswade were ahead two tries to two penalties. A penalty and converted try took the visitors six points ahead at half-time and another try on the hour seemed to seal the result – but their hosts had other ideas.

Opting to play into a Rosewell breeze, Lasswade had the best of the opening exchanges.

With just five minutes gone a switch of direction allowed Blair to burst through the middle and slice open the Highland line. As the Highland full-back barred Blair’s way, Hall was on hand to take the offload and finish in the corner.

Penalties for rucking offences allowed Fraser to put his side a point ahead in the next ten minutes but early in the second quarter Lasswade’s favourite weapon had Billingham touching down from a short range lineout.

Further indiscipline at a ruck gifted Fraser another three points, but the half was into stoppage time before Highland crossed the line for the first time.

Some forward pressure and then swift handling to the opposite wing made space for Grant to cross and round toward the posts for Fraser to make it 10-16 with the last touch of the half.

As the hour approached the pressure was on Lasswade and an attempted clearance from the 22 was charged down and the retrieved by the Highland full-back who beelined for the corner to touch down with millimetres to spare.

Lasswade battered at the door, but were thwarted near the line several times.

As the clock ticked toward normal time, another patient build-up finally paid dividends with Blackie finishing off but too wide out for the conversion.

Now well into stoppage time, Hunter gathered the restart kick to initiate an extended period of possession and progression downfield.

Kept mostly in the forwards the ball was driven into the red zone and, after a couple of rucks on the line, it was Blackie again who found the whitewash for his second try of the game.

Smith’s coolly-taken conversion gave the home side the slenderest of leads with five minutes of stoppage time already elapsed.

The referee allowed a further restart but it was safely rounded up by Lasswade and a couple of recycles used up the remaining time. A kick straight into the stand signalled the home eleventh hour victory.