After a delayed start, the Glenalmond College Pipes and Drums started up and our Glenalmond College 1st XV rugby team entered the BT Murrayfield Stadium through the player’s tunnel, running on to the Scotland National pitch to thunderous support to face local rivals Strathallan School in the Final of the U18 Scottish Schools Cup.
With Glenalmond pitched as the underdogs from the start, Strathallan were stunned by an early run up the middle from Captain Rafe H, firing a long pass to Ben M to score the first try of the game and the first try conceded by Strathallan in the entire competition.
Strathallan came back fighting with three converted tries before Ben M stepped up to put another three points on the board for Glenalmond with an impressive penalty, putting the score at 8-21 with ten minutes until half time.
A fumbled ball by Strathallan was swiftly dealt with by Miles K and a try for the opposition went begging. However, by the half time whistle Strathallan had held on to the ball for two more converted tries and increased their lead to 8-33.
Despite the rain, the spirits of the Glenalmond supporters would not be dampened and our 1st XV ran back out on the pitch after half time to emphatic cheers and rousing notes from Angus G and his trombone, echoing from the West Stand.
The second half showed a stronger Glenalmond, with some excellent defensive work against a fiercely strong Strathallan attack.
Despite spending much of the game on the back foot, such was the passion in the Glenalmond squad our boys did not stop taking the game to Strathallan - pushing them back at every opportunity with ball in hand.
Three more tries for Strathallan came before the final whistle and the match ended 8-52 to the opposition.
Head of Rugby, Graham Smith said of the game, “When the dust settles the boys can look back on today and feel total pride in what they have achieved. It wasn't to be, we were up against the best school team in Scotland just now, but we wanted to be better than last time we played them - and we were!”
What a game to be a part of, what a stadium to perform in and what a team of players and supporters we have here at Glenalmond College. The boys competed at the highest level of Scottish school-age competitive rugby and made it to the final, which is something to be proud of.
Elaine Logan, Warden at Glenalmond said, “Although the final result did not go our way, I felt as if we had won, such was the euphoria and pride being shown by everyone involved with the College. Our supporters were superb and no one could have asked for more 'heart' both on and off the field of play. I am immensely proud of our community.”
View all pitch-side images from Mr Nichols on our Flickr Gallery
View all pitch-side images from Mr Spencer-Nairn on his Flickr Gallery