There was no doubt from the first minute of the first match of RBS Finals Day at Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld today that Highland would be crowned champions of the RBS Bowl.
With no more than two minutes on the clock the Inverness side were on the board with a score from winger Darren MacLeod. The RBS Caledonia Regional League Division 2 North side went on to dominate both in attack and defence throughout the 80 minutes and some three tries followed for Highland.
The tries were scored by MacLeod, centre Tam Magowan, full-back Richard Sim and lock James Taylor. Stand-off Scott Fraser converted three of the four tries.
Captain Kevin Brown said: “Everyone was feeling a little edgy before the match because it’s a final and there are a lot of young guys who have never experienced anything like this.
What a brilliant game and a great win. We set out what we wanted to achieve at the start of the season and we have executed all those goals. We have won the league, the regional Bowl and now the RBS Bowl.
“We knew what we wanted to do and we dedicated to it and pushed towards it all season.
“Glenrothes were very physical today and never gave up, thanks to them for making it a entertaining tie.”
Glenrothes at times looked threatening, particularly through the running of scrum-half Micahel Delorey. Number 8 Daryl Warrender also put in a hard shift. He scored Glenrothes’ second try, the first being touched down by centre Cameron Goddall.
There was one player that stood out from start to finish though and Scotland and Glasgow Warriors players Moray Low and Lee Jones selected him deservingly as man-of-the-match. Highland centre Rory Cross made a number of striding breaks and put his body on the line in defence throughout the match.
Highland looked sharp from the outset of the first match of the day and took the lead against Glenrothes with only two minutes played. Winger MacLeod was the scorer, executing a perfectly worked overlap.
Stand-off Fraser held his nerve with the conversion too. He struck the kick perfectly from the touchline taking the Inverness team 7-0 in front.
MacLeod crossed the line again 20 minutes later, but a final pass from his full-back, Sim was deemed forward by referee and former Scotland 7s cap, Mike Adamson, taking control of his first RBS Finals Day match.
Highland were back on the board just two minutes later, though when centre, Magowan crossed the whitewash. Fraser slotted the second conversion. 14-0
Glenrothes lifted their momentum in the latter half of the first period, but strong defence from Highland meant the board remained clean at half-time.
Half-time: Highland 14-0 Glenrothes
Cross made a lovely break and set-up his support runner Sim for the first score of the second-half, just shy of ten minutes in. 19-0
With the clock ticking past an hour, Glenrothes after a prolonged period of possession and attacking pressure scored their first points of the day. Stand-off Stewart Hainey looked as though he’d make it to the line, but was stopped short. He did find centre Goodall in support though for the score. Centre, Shaun Gray converted, 19-7
Five minutes later Highland responded with another try of their own this time lock Taylor claimed the score. Fraser converted, his final bow of the match. 26-7
Glenrothes completed the scoring when Warrender crossed the whitewash with eight minutes left on the clock. Highland did touchdown after this but were pulled up for crossing. 26-12
Full-time: Highland 26-12 Glenrothes
Man-of-the-match: Rory Cross (Highland)
Highland team: Richard Sim; Darren MacLeod, Tam Magowan, Rory Cross, Craig Findlater; Scott Fraser, Craig Little; Steven Murray, Kevin Brown, Sinclair Patience, James Taylor, Nathan McLaughlin, Eamon Guinan, Paddy Bryden and Gareth High.
Replacements: Johnny Milton, Stuart Watson, Callum Carson, Craig Irvine, Matt Allen, David Titterington and Laurie Cuthbertson.
Glenrothes team: Kain Duguid; Ryan Venters, Shaun Gray, Cameron Goodall, Steven Varney; Stewart Hainey, Michael Delorey; Liam Fowlis, Gary Linton, Steven Bell, Ryan Douglas (captain), Ross Hutchison, Barry Crookston, Kenny Christie and Aryl Warrender.
Replacements: Rhys Bryce, Jordan Grubb, Michael Byers, Ewan Arthur, Mark Caldwell, Steven Dean and Richard Thomson.