Report: The South v Caledonia Reds
An outstanding Inter-district Championship final was won 32-30 by Caledonia Reds at Braidholm, with the result going right down to the final kick.
The scoring started from the very first phase. After Caledonia Reds gathered the kickoff, Bruce McNeil one a jackal penalty at the breakdown. Craig Dods booted the penalty over from the edge of the 22 on the left side with just 13 seconds gone.
The north district levelled the score in the 5th minute. After DJ Innes nearly broke through for a score but was felled by the covering defender, a penalty was awarded in front of the posts and Liam Brims made no mistake as he went for the posts.
And the first try of the game was scored just three minutes later. After Sean Blair made an initial break on the left and offloaded to Glen Brough, the ball was worked to Adriu Muritoki on the right, who dummied to break the line and was too quick for the South defence to catch.
In the 16th minute the South came within inches of scoring a try of their own but were withheld and brought back for a penalty. Dods stepped up from a similar position as his first but slightly closer to the sticks. The usually talismanic centre this time sliced his kick wide.
The Reds looked to have scored a superb second in the 26th minute, as Harry Russell’s chip over the top was gathered by Rupeni Rokoduguni on the left wing and it was finished a phase later by Sean Blair, but the assistant referee spotted a knock on at the bottom of the final ruck and the try was chalked off.
But Caledonia were not to be stopped in the 38th minute. With play going from end to end, Callum MacPherson intercepted a pass on the halfway line and sprinted for the line. Dwain Patterson gave chase, but the back row player just made it over the whitewash before he could be stopped.
The South grabbed their first try with the final play of the half. They gained momentum with strong carries in midfield and it was captain Shawn Muir who went over on the left.
Half time: The South 10-15 Caledonia Reds
Caledonia Reds’ lead grew in the 47th minute with their third try. The build up play came down the left side after an initial break from Sam Cardosi, and Liam Brims spotted a gap in the middle of the South’s defence and sprinted under the posts.
A rapid counter attack brought the Reds a fourth score in the 56th minute. Jacob Ramsay made the initial break on the left, offloading to Sam Cardosi, who then found Rokodoguni before the final pass was made to Russell.
The South executed a score through the handling of the backs in the 59th minute. The ball was worked into the right corner where Kirk Ford dived over the line.
And suddenly the Borders outfit were right back in it with a third try in the 64th minute. A lineout that looked to have malfunctioned five metres out was plucked out the air by Calum Crookshanks, who caught the Reds’ defence off guard and dived over.
The South then scored an intercept try of their own in the 67th minute. Muritoki’s pass in midfield was picked off by Michael Badenhorst, who ran it in from halfway two put the South two points back.
And the South went in front in the 74th minute. A penalty for an infringement at a maul on the left was knocked over by Craig Dods on the edge of the 22.
Just one minute later Caledonia Reds had a kick at goal themselves. Glen Faulds made a break and passed inside to James Imrie, and after he was tackled the South were penalised at the ruck. Faulds stepped up from around 40 metres and slotted it to put the Reds back in front.
But with the last play Craig Dods had the chance to win it. Caley knocked the restart on, and from the scrum the South won the penalty just outside the 22 on the right. The Gala man stepped up but missed the kick, and Caledonia Reds were crowned the champions.
Full time: The South 30-32 Caledonia Reds
The South: Shawn Muir, Kirk Ford, Calum Crookshanks, Michael Badenhorst
Caledonia Reds: Adriu Muritoki, Callum MacPherson, Liam Brims, Harry Russell
The South: Craig Dods (2)
Caledonia Reds: Liam Brims (3)
The South: Craig Dods
Caledonia Reds: Liam Brims
Caledonia Reds: Archie Falconer, Gordon Gregor
Player of the Match:
The South: 15. Kirk Ford 14. Dwain Patterson 13. Frankie Robson 12. Craig Dods 11. Ronan McKean 10. Struan Hutchison 9. Bruce Colvine 1. Shawn Muir CAPTAIN 2. Matt Carryer 3. Nicky Little 4. Shaun Fairbairn 5. Michael Badenhorst 6. Stuart Graham 7. Calum Renwick 8. Bruce McNeil
Replacements: 16. Bruce Riddell 17. Luke Pettie 18. Calum Crookshanks 19. Andrew McColm 24. Angus Dun 21. Gareth Welsh 22. Ben Gill 23. Sandy Watt
Caledonia Reds: 15. Adriu Muritoki 14. James McCaig 13. Max Wallace 12. DJ Innes 11. Rupeni Rokoduguni 10. Liam Brims 9. Harry Russell CO-CAPTAIN 1. Steven Murray 2. Fraser Allan 3. Glen Brough 4. Stef Yarrow CO-CAPTAIN 5. Sean Blair 6. Callum Macpherson 7. Sam Cardosi 8. Oscar Baird
Replacements: 16. Archie Falconer 17. Arran Hain 18. Jacob Ramsay 19. James Brough 20. Gordon Gregor 21. James Imrie 22. Glen Faulds 23. Seumas Ross