Highland slipped to an agonising defeat in their quest to gain promotion to the Premiership but won the admiration of head coach Davie Carson for their fighting performance as they lost 32-25 to Watsonians at Myreside.
The afternoon got off to an inauspicious start when three of Highland team were held up in traffic on their way from Manchester, resulting in the kick off being delayed by half an hour.
“It was not a great way to start the game, but I am full of pride for the way three players battled up to Edinburgh and nearly managed to get a result, as was the case throughput a very competitive game.
“As it was we picked up a losing bonus point,”said Carson, who had to watch his team camp themselves on the home line for the last 10 minutes where they won nine penalties but failed to score.
“There should have been at least one yellow card and possibly a penalty try which would have given us a draw and three valuable points.
“I’m heartbroken for my players. They deserved better.”
HT || CLUB 1XV
— Watsonian FC (@WATSONIANFC) January 22, 2022
Highland made a good start, scoring the first try of the afternoon when Timoli Waganibanu raced home for a try converted by stand-off Benn Webb, only for Watsonians to hit back in an entertaining first half which ended with the visitors trailing 24-12, having added a Calum Carson try to their tally, while the Edinburgh side scored three tries and three penalties.
A try from winger Andy Kellock in 68 minutes, converted by centre Scott Fraser who also kicked two penalties set up a storming finish, but it was not to be, leaving Highland 12 points behind leaders Heriots who scraped past Ayr 22-20 away from home.
In the meantime in Hamilton, Gordonians surged out of the National League 2 relegation area after beating the home side 33-23, collecting a try bonus point in the process, winning the praise of president Matthew Brechin.
He said: “It’s all coming together for us. We were simply brilliant, scoring five tries against a side which had beaten us at Countesswells.”
The Gordonians try scorers were Emmet Strachan, Struan Robertson, Charlie Wall, Matthew Johnston and Andrew McLean. Alex Fraser kicked four conversions.